U.S. President Joe Biden.
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Biden opened the door to making cuts to the centerpiece of his economic agenda.
“It’s clear to me that we’re going to have to probably break it up,” he told reporters.
Other Democrats in the Senate are starting to recognize difficult cuts are probably needed so it turns into law.
President Joe Biden opened the door to making cuts to his $2 trillion social spending and climate bill, conceding that it’s still possible to get “big chunks” of it through the 50-50 Senate.
“It’s clear to me that we’re going to have to probably break it up,” he told reporters at his first solo news conference this year.
“I’m confident we can get pieces, big chunks of Build Back Better signed into law” before the midterms, he also said.
It’s a fresh sign from the president that he’ll likely have to significantly scale back his ambitions on the Build Back Better legislation so it eventually clears the Senate over unified Republican resistance. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia sunk the House bill last month, citing a laundry list of concerns including worsening inflation and the ongoing pandemic.
The legislation would have set up universal pre-K, established federal subsidies for childcare, helped combat the climate emergency, and more. Democrats want to finance it with new taxes on rich Americans and large corporations that currently pay little or no federal taxes.
Other Democrats in the Senate are starting to recognize difficult cuts are probably needed so the centerpiece of Biden’s economic agenda reaches his desk. Sen. Jon Tester of Montana said Democrats could revisit the legislation sometime next month, once a deal is struck on a spending deal that averts a government shutdown.
“We need to take a look at what we can get done,” Tester told Insider on Wednesday. For much of January, Senate Democrats have focused on approving a set of voting rights and election bills that’s likely doomed to fail due to resistance from Manchin on blowing a hole in the 60-vote threshold known as the filibuster.
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Economy, Politics, Policy, Joe Manchin, Build Back Better, Congress, Republicans, Democrats, White House, Child tax credit, Joe Biden
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