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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Friday revived Build Back Better negotiations with Republican senators ahead of the November midterm elections.
The negotiations, which stalled between Manchin and the White House in December, include increasing the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent, provisions meant to address global warming, and subsidies for the green energy sector, Axios reported.
Manchin is negotiating with Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) but not with President Joe Biden, a key individual in the dealmaking process.
“There are options that are going to be there that you might have to consider… I was as honest as I could be,” the West Virginia senator said after meeting with a number of GOP senators, most of whom are closely associated with the Republican establishment.
So far the negotiations between the establishment Republicans and the Democrats have been “respectful” and “encouraging, to a certain extent,” Manchin told the publication. “There could be nothing,” he added about the likelihood of giving Biden a win before November. “There could be truly nothing. That’s all I can tell you.”
“Chuck has a very, very difficult job,” he continued. “The trust that I have, it’s his ability to be able to move 48 or 49 other people.”
Manchin’s proposal failed in December because the Democrat House members would not allow the White House to agree to the terms of the deal. His revived talks include Republicans. It is not known if Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will once again allow the Biden administration to pass a massive spending package amid 40-year-high inflation and soaring gas prices.
Though Manchin is courting Republicans, the newest iteration of the “Build Back Better” package seems to exclude much of the left’s agenda. These exclusions sank the deal in December and may do so again unless establishment GOP senators cave and work with Democrats to pass the package.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.