Congressional progressives reject Senator Manchin's demands

After a tumultuous week in Congress, in which deep divisions within the Democratic Party delayed the progress of part of President Biden...

After a tumultuous week in Congress, in which deep divisions within the Democratic Party delayed the progress of part of President Biden’s economic agenda, the debate dragged on into the weekend as the party was preparing for intense negotiations in the coming weeks.

Progressive Sunday flatly rejected the latest demands of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III, a decisive vote for Democrats, cut President Biden’s domestic policy agenda by more than half, and include a provision ensuring that the federal government does not fund abortions.

Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat from Washington and chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said progressives would not agree to reduce Mr. Biden’s ten-year term, Social safety net and $ 3.5 trillion climate bill to $ 1.5 trillion, as requested by Mr. Manchin.

“It won’t happen,” Ms. Jayapal said on CNN’s “State of the Union”. “It’s too small to include our priorities. It’s going to be somewhere between $ 1.5 and $ 3.5, and I think the White House is working on it right now. Remember: what we want to deliver is child care, paid time off, climate change. “

Mr. Manchin said in a interview with the National Review last week that he insisted that the bill include the Hyde Amendment, which states that Medicaid will not pay for an abortion unless the woman’s life is in danger or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

The Hyde Amendment has been reauthorized every year since 1976, but Mr Biden did not include it in his latest budget proposal. During the presidential race, his campaign initially said he supported the amendment, but then went on to turned the tide and condemned it.

Ms. Jayapal, who was one of three members of Congress who testified last week about their personal experiences of having had an abortion, said she opposed Mr Manchin’s request.

“The Hyde Amendment is something that the majority of the country does not support,” she said.

However, Ms Jayapal and other progressives have said they are willing to compromise on the price of the package. Several said they were discussing whether to remove certain programs entirely from their agendas or reduce the duration of the bill’s funding – to five years from 10 years, for example.

“We can anticipate the benefits and have fewer years,” Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, said on “Fox News Sunday”.

Ms Jayapal said progressives were ready to explore shortening the duration of certain elements of the finance bill to reduce its cost, but the new clean energy standards were to remain in law for a decade.

“It takes time to reduce carbon emissions,” she said.

Debate raged on Capitol Hill over the past week over Mr. Biden’s national agenda. The almost 100-member progressive congressional caucus blocked a vote in the House on its $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill, which is favored by the centrist wing of the Democrats. More liberal lawmakers have sought a way to pass the president’s larger $ 3.5 trillion domestic politics bill, which some centrist Democrats have not approved.

With small majorities in both houses of Congress, nearly all Democratic votes are needed to pass both bills.

Mr. Biden, President Nancy Pelosi of California and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and majority leader, assured the progressive caucus that the two bills will progress in a “two-track” process. .

“We are trying to pass some of the most important laws to help working families – across New York and across the country – that have been made since Franklin D. Roosevelt,” Schumer said at a conference release in New York on Sunday. “It takes a little while. I think we are on track to pass both the bipartisan infrastructure bill as well as the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, and our goal is to complete both bills within the next month. . “

In a letter to lawmakers on Saturday, Pelosi called for passage of the infrastructure bill by the end of the month and signaled that Democratic leaders were continuing to negotiate the broader social policy bill and the climate with Mr. Manchin and the senator. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, two recalcitrant Democrats who are needed to pass legislation in the Senate.

“Again, we will and must pass both bills soon,” Ms. Pelosi wrote. “We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do it. “

Ms. Sinema issued a statement on Saturday condemning the delay in the infrastructure vote, calling it a “failure” and “deeply disappointing for communities in our country.”

“Denying Americans millions of well-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity and better broadband only hurts everyday families,” she said.

But Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who is the chairman of the budget committee, expressed confidence in the progressives’ negotiating position, stressing white house signals that their faction was right to push for a more ambitious legislative program.

“We have the President of the United States on our side,” Sanders said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “We have 96% of the Democratic caucus in the House on our side. We have all but two senators at this point in the Democratic caucus on our side. We’re going to win this thing.

Cedric L. Richmond, senior adviser to Mr Biden, predicted that liberals and centrists would have to donate to reach a deal.

“People will be disappointed. People aren’t going to get everything we want, “he told NBC’s Meet the Press.” We’re going to fight until we get both bills. “

Speaking on “State of the Union,” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second Democrat in the Senate, agreed that there are big choices ahead.

“We have to ask this very fundamental question,” he said. “Do we have to do everything in a limited way, or do we really have to invest in the most important things?

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Newsrust - US Top News: Congressional progressives reject Senator Manchin's demands
Congressional progressives reject Senator Manchin's demands
Newsrust - US Top News
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