Democrat President Joe Biden’s plan to reshape America with his $3.5 trillion social spending bill hit another obstacle on Thursday as one top Democrat Senator said that it would not happen anytime soon.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) made the remarks in relation to a push from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) to reach a deal on the framework of the bill by the end of this week.
“This is not going to happen anytime soon, guys,” Manchin told reporters. “There’s a lot of work to do, everybody’s working hard, everybody’s communicating, working hard. A lot of meetings going on.”
Manchin said that while he thinks his party is “making good progress,” he believes that talks will extend well beyond Friday.
“There’s a lot of details. Until you see the text and the fine print, it’s pretty hard to make final decisions, until you actually see,” he said, adding that “the text” needs to match “the intent.”
Manchin has recently been visibly frustrated with Schumer’s attacks on Republicans while Democrats try to ram through their massive spending bill.
Manchin has reportedly been so upset with his party that he has privately told people that he is considering leaving the party, although Manchin has denied the rumors.
Mother Jones reported:
In recent days, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has told associates that he is considering leaving the Democratic Party if President Joe Biden and Democrats on Capitol Hill do not agree to his demand to cut the size of the social infrastructure bill from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion, according to people who have heard Manchin discuss this. Manchin has said that if this were to happen, he would declare himself an “American Independent.” And he has devised a detailed exit strategy for his departure. …
He told associates that he has a two-step plan for exiting the party. First, he would send a letter to Sen. Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, removing himself from the Democratic leadership of the Senate. (He is vice chair of the Senate Democrats’ policy and communications committee.) Manchin hopes that would send a signal. He would then wait and see if that move had any impact on the negotiations. After about a week, he said, he would change his voter registration from Democrat to independent.
Manchin “told the White House the child tax credit must include a firm work requirement and family income cap in the $60,000 range,” Axios reported at the start of the week, adding that the move “would dramatically weaken one of President Biden’s signature programs.”
Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), “held a call with House centrist lawmakers last Wednesday in which the senators detailed some of their specific concerns about Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending plan,” the report added.
Biden was reportedly dealt another severe blow from Manchin in recent days over another major component of the $3.5 trillion bill.
The New York Times reported:
Manchin, the Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia whose vote is crucial to passage of the bill, has told the White House that he strongly opposes the clean electricity program, according to three of those people. As a result, White House staffers are now rewriting the legislation without that climate provision, and are trying to cobble together a mix of other policies that could also cut emissions. …
The $150 billion clean electricity program was the muscle behind Mr. Biden’s ambitious climate agenda. It would reward utilities that switched from burning fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and penalize those that do not.
Recent reports have indicated that the full $3.5 trillion package may no longer be on the table, but neither the House, Senate, nor the White House has filed any official changes to the bill or officially announced a compromise measure.
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