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Sen. Joe Manchin, a key West Virginia Democrat, said Tuesday there are no talks happening about President Joe Biden’s massive social-spending and climate bill, a measure that his party’s leaders have planned to vote on after the first of the year.
“There is no negotiation going on at this time,” Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill about the bill, dubbed “Build Back Better.”
Manchin has been a holdout on major parts of the legislation, raising questions about items including paid leave and an expanded child tax credit. The bill passed the House of Representatives in November, but was expected to face major changes in the Senate, which is evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, also a Democrat, has been another skeptic of some of the bill’s provisions.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, reiterated Tuesday that he intends to hold a vote in his chamber on Build Back Better. Schumer had initially hoped to pass the legislation before Christmas.
“The stakes are high for us to find common ground,” Schumer said.
With the timing for any possible negotiations or a vote on Build Back Better up in the air, Senate Democrats are moving on to issues including election reform.
Before Christmas, analysts said it was possible Manchin could support parts of the major social-spending bill.
Asked about the measure on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “absolutely wants to get Build Back Better done,” and asserted it would lower costs for child and elder care, as well as health care. She said Biden and senior White House officials would keep talking with senators “in the weeks ahead.”
In market action on Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.74% was up about 168 points, a day after it and the S&P 500 SPX, +0.06% index kicked off the new year by closing at record highs. A continued rise in long-term yields, meanwhile, dragged down tech shares COMP, -1.26%.
Source: This post first appeared on http://marketwatch.com/