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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she remains optimistic that Senator Joe Manchin will help pass President Joe Biden‘s Build Back Better plan, despite the centrist’s ongoing refusal to support the social spending scheme.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat, single-handedly killed his party’s goal of passing the $1.75trillion social and climate reform bill last year after revealing he would vote ‘no’ on the plan following months of negotiations.
Concerned about inflation, Manchin refused to support the bill as it stood and in the evenly-divided Senate, where the president needed every Democratic vote in order for it to pass.
Despite the rebel senator nixing the bill, Pelosi said she’s still hopeful it can be saved.
‘I do think there’s an agreement to be reached,’ she told CBS’s Face the Nation. ‘It’s so important for our country.’
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she remains optimistic that Senator Joe Manchin will help pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan
But Manchin has repeatedly said he does not intend to endorse the legislation, citing inflation and other factors
Pelosi indicated she’s not willing to let the matter go.
‘Whether we’re talking about the need for childcare… home health care, all of those things,’ she said. ‘In addition to that we see weather, and that weather is telling us that we must do what is in the bill to address the climate crisis which is causing so many unusual natural disasters.’
A report released earlier this month suggested the Manchin could still be persuaded to endorse the bill.
Sources told Axios that the West Virginia senator is willing to talk about the package’s provisions on climate change and child care measures, indicating Biden’s agenda may not be a lost cause.
President Joe Biden needed every Democratic vote in order for the legislation to pass in the equally-divided Senate
But the enhanced child tax credit, an extension of a measure in Biden’s American Rescue Plan, would either have to be eliminated altogether or its income cap for eligible families significantly raised.
The boost, which raised the child tax benefit from $2,000 per child to up to $3,600 for children under 6, expired last week at the end of 2021.
Before publicly rejecting the legislation last month, Manchin presented his own alternate Build Back Better proposal to the White House which did include climate and healthcare measures but notably excluded the child tax credit, the Washington Post first reported.
The key centrist also reportedly told Biden that he’d be open to some form of a billionaire’s tax to pay for the progressive spending bill.
‘I do think there’s an agreement to be reached,’ Pelosi told CBS’s Face the Nation . ‘It’s so important for our country’
According to sources cited in the report, Manchin is still expressing reservation over the sweeping legislation’s size, despite succeeding along with Senator Krysten Sinema in lowering its price tag from an initial $3.5trillion.
When he returned to Washington after winter break earlier this month, Manchin remained skeptical about the plan and said there were no talks underway with the White House.
‘There is no negotiations going on at this time, okay?’ the West Virginia Democrat told reporters when asked about Biden’s $1.8 trillion plan.
He then spoke about the plan in the both the past and present tense as being filled with both ‘well intended’ and divisive provisions.
‘And there’s an awful lot of things that had a lot of a lot of things that were very I think well-intended,’ he said. ‘And there was a lot of things that was pretty far reach on some things and most delicate times that we have right now. And our country’s divided. And I don’t tend to do anything that divides our country any more.’