Manchin refuses to approve safety net bill, lowering hopes of a quick vote

WASHINGTON – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III all but dashed hopes for a quick vote this week on President Biden’s national agenda,...


WASHINGTON – West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III all but dashed hopes for a quick vote this week on President Biden’s national agenda, saying on Monday he would not approve a $ 1.85 trillion social and climate policy package dollars without enough time to consider its economic and fiscal ramifications.

In an appearance on Capitol Hill, Mr Manchin, a decisive vote for Democrats, condemned House Liberals who refused to vote for a $ 1 trillion bipartite infrastructure plan without a final domestic policy deal, saying their tactics would not cause him to swallow his serious reservations about measuring the safety net.

His comments threw cold water on the Democratic House leaders’ plans to quickly complete talks on the backstop bill and put both measures to a vote this week, again leaving them hanging in the air. the fate of Mr. Biden’s two main priorities. They also undermined the president’s claim that an outline of the social and climate policy plan he presented last week had the support of all 50 Democratic and independent senators.

“Although I have worked hard to find a path to compromise, it is obvious that compromise is not enough for some in Congress,” Manchin said, reading prepared remarks. “It’s all or nothing, and their position doesn’t seem to change until we agree on everything. Enough is enough.”

He reiterated a request to see details and tax accounting of the impact of this bill, criticizing elements of a new compromise outlined by Mr. Biden last week, which was widely negotiated to win Mr Manchin’s vote.

“Holding this bill hostage will not work to get my support for what you want,” the senator said of the infrastructure legislation. Regarding the social policy package, he added: “I am open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward, but I am also open to vote against a bill that harms our country. “

In a statement, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said the legislation being negotiated in the House responds to Mr Manchin’s demands that the plan tackle inflation, create jobs and be financially responsible.

“The plan that the House is finalizing meets these tests: it is fully paid, will reduce the deficit and reduce the costs of health care, child care, elderly care and housing,” she said, adding “as a result, we remain confident. that the plan will win the support of Senator Manchin.

Democrats need the support of all of their 50 senators to get legislation approved, and all but a few of their members in the House. They are pushing the Social Safety Net Bill through Congress against unanimous Republican opposition using a special budget process known as reconciliation that protects such legislation from obstruction.

Mr Manchin’s remarks came as Progressive Democrats abandoned their demand for the Senate to pass the reconciliation bill before agreeing to vote for the infrastructure plan. They made it more likely that these liberals would insist on a firm commitment from Mr Manchin and Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema, another key moderate, before moving forward.

But some prominent progressives have said they will continue even without such assurances.

“I’m a ‘yes’ on infrastructure and on the White House’s framework for the larger bill when it comes together in the House,” said Representative Ro Khanna of California. “I trust the judgment and the word of the president and the president that they will bring these votes when they have the 50 senators on board. I remain confident that we can work out the remaining details to get our group together and deliver this week. “

Top Democrats have spent the weekend feverishly working to resolve the remaining sticking points, including a final attempt to negotiate a plan that could help deal with high prescription drug costs.

Jonathan weisman contributed reports.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Manchin refuses to approve safety net bill, lowering hopes of a quick vote
Manchin refuses to approve safety net bill, lowering hopes of a quick vote
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