56 days to get Manchin on board with Biden’s agenda: Democrats say they have until Memorial Day

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has said “there is nothing serious” in the work on a revised version of President Joe Biden’s agenda — a stark contrast to the apparent rush other members of his party feel to get it done

Senate Democrats are fighting the clock to pass a sweeping tax and spending bill before they risk losing a majority after November’s midterm elections, and they hope to do so in less than two months from Monday.

“You either do it before Memorial Day or you won’t do it,” Virginia Senator Tim Kaine told Politico.

Another lawmaker, Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, gave the outlet a similar timeline.

“April and May are a good window of opportunity for this. If it was a little later, fine. I don’t think it should drag on for four to five months,” Casey said. “We still have a chance to create something not only significant, but unprecedented. And I think we should use every possible ounce of energy that we have to do that.’

All eyes are on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, the outlet reports, after the central centrist dashed President Joe Biden’s hopes of passing his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill last year would have.

However, the senator was vague when asked by Politico for more details on ongoing negotiations.

“Really, I can’t tell you if there’s anything serious about it. They talk and we talk to everyone. And there’s nothing serious,” Manchin told the outlet.

“We’ll see after next week, after the judge and all that, maybe things will get better.”

He was referring to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation process, which even in the face of strong Republican opposition appears to be a surefire victory for Democrats.

In a now infamous interview in December, Manchin told Fox News that he could not support the sweeping social and climate spending plan, bringing an abrupt end to months of negotiations with congressional leadership and the White House.

Democrats had hoped to pass Build Back Better on the budget voting process, which would bypass certain Republican opposition but would require every member of their party to vote in lockstep to pass the bill by a slim 51-50.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a new tax and spending plan is a

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a new tax and spending plan is a “high priority” for the Democratic Party ahead of the midterm elections.

But this time there seems to be little appetite for persuading Manchin to align himself with progressive politics, which he is vocally opposed to. Monday’s report suggests Democrats want to pass something – anything – before this summer.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said a revised attempt at a comprehensive spending package is a “high priority” for his party.

Manchin reportedly wants a lower price than the original, which gave him cold feet over concerns about what more government spending would do to counter record-high inflation.

He is also willing to raise taxes on wealthy and large companies, cut the cost of prescription drugs and spend money on fighting climate change, according to Monday’s report, provided half of new revenue from the law goes towards the cut of the national budget deficit.

Progressive Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed hope that all 50 Democrats in the upper house would find enough issues to agree on meaningful reform.

Biden renames his failed 'Build Back Better' plan to 'Building A Better America'

Biden renames his failed ‘Build Back Better’ plan to ‘Building A Better America’

“It makes sense that we’re doing the math. We have so many pieces that we have 50 votes. It should be possible to cobble those together and create a reconciliation package that goes through,” Warren said.

Part of any deal with Manchin on board, Politico said, would have to forego progressives’ hopes of expanding many government programs. It would also need to include an increase in domestic fossil fuel production in the near term before green energy sources are promoted across the board.

Late last year, Manchin signaled that he opposed the extension of an extension to the child tax credit granted under Biden’s American Rescue Plan to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure, which is particularly important to the president, was a key point of division between Manchin and the rest of his party.

However, a spokeswoman for Warren’s progressive Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was less optimistic than she was.

“I’d love to be wrong, but I’m not holding my breath,” Sanders spokesman Mike Casca reportedly said.

Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota suggested it was clear something could be done, adding that “it’s not like people need more information” than what Manchin himself has put forward publicly.

“I absolutely think it’s doable,” Smith said.

“I can’t say exactly what I think would be included, but gosh, since early January I’ve been saying find out where you got 50 votes and do it. [Manchin] said he wants to solve it.’

Last month, the White House signaled that it would return to the drawing board in the president’s social and climate agenda, dropping the old name to call it “Building A Better America.”

When Biden unveiled the plan on March 2, one of the reasons he sold it was to fight runaway inflation.

Consumer prices rose an average of 7.9 percent year-on-year in February, according to the latest available statistics from the Department of Labor.

In his Dec. 19 statement declaring his opposition to Build Back Better, Manchin cited his well-known “reservations” about the bill’s impact on rising costs of living.

“My concerns have only grown as the pandemic mounts, inflation rises, and geopolitical uncertainty mounts around the world,” the West Virginia senator said at the time.

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