The Senate made no headway on President Joe Biden’s social and climate spending bill, with Democratic recalcitrant Joe Manchin saying Tuesday there are “no negotiations” about reviving it.
There have been no attempt to resume negotiations
The West Virginia Democrat flatly dismissed mentions of advancement from other leaders of his party in recent weeks. Manchin stated he is sick of hearing about the $1.7 trillion plan, which focuses on schooling, climate action, medical services, taxation, and childcare.
“I’m not going to speak about Build Back Better since I believe I’ve already stated my position on that. At this moment, there is no discussion going on,” Manchin told journalists near his office.
Manchin’s remarks are just the latest setback for the House-passed bill, which is currently stuck in the Senate indefinitely, owing to Manchin’s objections.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated discussions with Biden will resume soon enough. Schumer also said they discussed Biden’s budget bill during his recent talks with Manchin over the past two weeks.
President Biden signed a nearly $770 billion defense bill on Monday, $24 billion more than he had requested, in a setback for liberals whose efforts to expand social spending have been blocked by Democratic moderates in the name of fiscal responsibility. https://t.co/iMan12FXP1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 28, 2021
Democrats thought the year-end expiration of the enhanced child tax credit would persuade Manchin to reach an agreement. His worries, however, are much larger and would necessitate a thorough reworking of the bill, which would include both short-term and long-term funding.
That is why the Senate is focusing almost solely on election reform and debate over Senate rule amendments, with Manchin and moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema acting as roadblocks.
Manchin said he’s in talks with Democrats about changing Senate rules to allow voting laws to be passed, but he’s “not consenting to anything” right now.
Manchin will, however, have to vote on Biden’s flagship funding bill at some time, according to Schumer. Schumer wanted to pass the bill before Christmas, but it has yet to reach the Senate floor.
Right now, it’s become more than apparent that both Schumer and Manchin are on very different pages regarding Senate legislation.
The American people are tired of meaningless spending and see Biden’s $73 billion COVID spending bill as “a waste of money” that could have been spent “doing other things” that are “more productive.”https://t.co/ohgle9nkIu
— Republican Party of Arizona (@AZGOP) January 4, 2022
Democrats need to admit it’s a failure
Nonetheless, following Manchin’s remarks on Tuesday, the federal spending package appears to be in much worse health than most in the party admit.
To secure Manchin’s vote, which is needed to pass the filibuster-proof budget bill in a 50-50 Senate, Democrats may have to scale back their objectives.
Some of the bill’s regulations are “well-intended,” but others are “far-reaching,” according to Manchin, who has previously expressed concerns about the cost of the enlarged child tax credit and the legislature’s paid leave requirements.
On Tuesday, Manchin suggested focusing the bill on climate change would be easier than cramming in a jumble of regulations that amount to much of his party’s household wish list from recent years.
“We could probably get to an understanding on the climate issue much easier than anything,” Manchin added.