Will the Build Back Better Act Pass by Christmas Deadline?
As 2021 is coming to a close, the race is on to pass President Joe Biden’s trimmed down $1.75 trillion Build Back Better economic bill, before the Democrats self-imposed Christmas deadline.
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The U.S. House passed the Build Back Better bill in November, which now puts the ball in the Senate’s court. And it could all hinge on centrist Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the linchpin of the 50-50 Senate, NBC News reports.
“We have basically 49 of us in agreement to move forward. So we have one colleague we’re continuing to work with, and he’s been successful at making a number of changes. And so hopefully he’ll be joining us,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), a member of the Democratic leadership, according to NBC.
In a tweet on Dec. 15, House Democrats said that “by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, we’re showing our commitment to protecting the planet, educating our children and ensuring corporations pay their fair share.”
Biden spoke with Manchin on Dec. 13, a phone call the White House described as “constructive,” with spokesman Andrew Bates echoing in a statement that the two “agreed to follow up with one another in the coming days,” according to CNN.
“Senator Manchin and President Biden had a productive conversation this afternoon. They will continue to talk over the coming days,” Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said in a statement, according to CNN.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing on Tuesday, Dec. 14 that “progress often requires compromise. And you’ve seen that already to date.”
“What we’re talking about now does not look like his original proposal. So, there’s already been a significant amount of compromise. He’s come down in numbers in some of the areas that were in his original proposal. And he’s comfortable with that because he knows in order to make progress, compromise can’t be treated as a dirty word,” she said, according to a transcript of the briefing.
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“Now, we’re much further along than we were a month or two months ago, but those conversations are continuing, obviously, with Senator Manchin yesterday and others as we work to get this bill across the finish line,” she added.
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