Manchin hits Dems’ $2T bill because it’s too expensive, talk to Biden

Sen Democracy. Joe Manchin signaled again that he was not yet ready to support his party’s $2 trillion environmental and social act, then spoke to the President Joe Biden as party leaders scramble for a path to advance the long-stalled package – by Christmas, preferably.

The West Virginia The lawmaker declined to describe his phone conversation with the president on Monday, saying he and Biden were “talking about different iterations” and saying “anything could happen.” when asked if they could come to an agreement over the holiday.

The White House Spokesman Andrew Bates said the two had “a good, constructive phone call” and will speak again soon.

In earlier comments to reporters, Manchin did not specifically threaten to vote against the legislation or say he opposes the goal. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., to pass a compromise by Christmas. But his stance underscores that White House and Senate leaders still have to make concessions to reduce Manchin’s support.

Democrats must have his support because the Senate is divided equally and Republicans unanimously oppose the legislation. One of the last holders of his party, Manchin has been pushing Democrats for months to limit the size of the bill and drop a number of initiatives, including one requiring the family paid and medical leave.

Early Monday, Manchin told reporters he wanted leaders to pick their “highest priority” out of the pack, making them all last for 10 years instead of just a few and squeezing them all out. that into a measure that costs less than $2 trillion. The law limits many Democratic priorities to just a few years to cap the 10-year price tag of the measure.

With the current bill emerging after more than seven months of often acrimonious negotiations among Democrats, reconfiguring it seems unlikely at this point.

In his first public comments since a pair of government reports were released last week, Manchin said one report showed inflation was rising at an annual rate of 6.8%, a high. in four decades, is “alarming”.

He also expressed disappointment at an analysis requested by Republicans that said the law would add $3 trillion to the federal deficit if all of its programs were made permanent. Democrats decried that report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as absurd because they said they would seek to pay for any extensions of the bill’s programs.

Before speaking to Manchin, Biden told reporters at the White House that when he talks to lawmakers, he tries to “convince them that what I’m proposing makes sense and isn’t contrary to what I’m saying.” they believe.”

Other unresolved issues about the bill include whether the House MP will decide that certain provisions, including one that helps migrants stay in the US, should be dropped because they violate the rules. Senate rules or not.

The House of Representatives passed a version of the law last month.

One reason for the Democrats’ urgency is that unless the measure is passed on December 28, the IRS will not have time to prepare checks due on January 15 for the millions of families receiving credit. child tax, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said.


AP correspondent in Congress Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report. Manchin hits Dems’ $2T bill because it’s too expensive, talk to Biden


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