Manchin still a holdout as Democrats work to pass Build Back Better bills

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After months of negotiating, House Democrats are vowing to hold a vote on both portions of the president’s Build Back Better plan this week.

Democratic leadership say they want to pass the president’s infrastructure package and his nearly $2 trillion social spending plan by Thursday, even though there are still some major policy differences that are unresolved.

President Joe Biden, who is promising transformative changes at the UN Climate Summit, said he’s confident his plan will pass.

But that could be easier said than done.

Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is signaling he may not be on board with the current compromise.

“I’m concerned about inflation,” Manchin said.

Manchin is demanding further review of the bill’s expansive federal social spending and says he wants certainty new clean energy polices won’t harm the economy.

“I hear from a lot of West Virginians and it’s not running popular in West Virginia,” Manchin said.

Republicans say they’re hoping Manchin won’t cave.

“This is a bill America does not want and does not need,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the House Progressive Caucus, says despite objections from Manchin, progressives support passing both bills together.

“We are now comfortable with moving forward,” Jayapal said. “We look forward to pushing them through and we’re taking the word of the president that he’s going to get 51 votes.”

The road ahead for Democrats is unclear.

What they will do about immigration reform, Medicare expansion and paid family leave is still unresolved. Progressives and moderates remain divided on those key issues.

Leadership says they’re working through the final kinks and are hoping for a final deal as early as Tuesday.

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