President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) have continued to discuss the proposed $1.8 trillion “Build Back Better” bill, despite Manchin’s apparent rejection of the bill earlier this month, according to a White House advisor.
This provides progressives with a glimmer of hope that the senator’s swing vote for the much-debated social spending bill might still be secured.
“President Biden…has a tendency of pulling legislative rabbits out of hats,” Bernstein said in an interview with CNN.
Manchin told Fox News earlier this month that he would not be able to vote yes on the idea because he had “done everything humanly imaginable.” This is a resounding no on this particular piece of legislation.”
Following the senator’s declaration, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement rebutting the senator’s concerns about the proposed legislation, which includes an increased child tax credit, among other provisions.
Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), two moderate Democrats whose votes are required for the plan to succeed in the Senate, were persuaded to lower the bill’s initial $3.5 trillion price tag in the hopes of swaying them.
In the House of Representatives, the plan, which includes paid family leave, childcare subsidies, universal pre-kindergarten, and sustainable energy programs, was enacted just a month ago.
Progressives expected movement on “Build Back Better” in exchange for the bill, which was initially coupled with a $1.2 trillion infrastructure measure that has since been passed by Congress. Progressives such as Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) viewed Manchin’s refusal as a betrayal of the Democratic Party.