December 31, 2021
By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden and Senator Joe Manchin spoke about the “Build Back Better” bill a day after the conservative Democratic senator publicly rejected the president’s social spending plans, a White House adviser said on Friday.
“He (Biden) has some confidence about that (bill), including discussions he has had with Senator Manchin,” Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House council of economic advisers, said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
“The president and Senator Manchin – the day after that announcement where the senator said he couldn’t vote for the bill as it was – they were talking again.”
Manchin, a conservative Democratic senator, rejected the president’s Build Back Better plan earlier this month in a move that imperils the legislation.
Manchin’s move prompted investment bank Goldman Sachs to lower its forecasts for U.S. economic growth. Manchin’s rejection of the bill threatened to scuttle hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for measures to fight climate change and meet the Biden administration’s climate goals.
Manchin has expressed concerns about a number of proposals in Biden’s signature domestic policy bill, including multiple climate proposals and extending monthly child tax credit payments.
Biden told reporters after Manchin’s rejection that he and the senator were “going to get something done” on the legislation.
Manchin’s support is crucial in the Senate chamber where the Democrats have the slimmest margin of control and Republicans are united in their opposition to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the chamber would vote on a package in early 2022.
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a leading liberal House Democrat, has asked Biden to continue focusing on the social spending legislation and urged him to use executive action despite Manchin’s public rejection of the plan.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alex Richardson)