Tensions are rising as President Joe Biden and Senator Joe Manchin negotiate the final details of the Democrats’ $1.7 trillion federal spending package.
The Bill Is Likely Not to Pass
The bill is highly likely to stagnate over the upcoming holiday break, causing Biden to express his displeasure with the leisurely speed.
When asked if he opposed a clause in the package that would continue the enhanced child tax credit, Sen. Manchin became irritated. He called the questions “bullsh*t” and denied he wants to eliminate the $300 monthly check so many families receive for their children.
This clause is set to expire at the end of the month; Democrats expected it would spur a year-end agreement. According to a person knowledgeable on the discussions, Biden and Manchin don’t seem to be close to reaching an agreement.
Manchin has recommended removing the child tax credit from the plan. The West Virginia senator also stated publicly he does not support the tax credit.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) December 14, 2021
“The negotiations between [Biden] and Manchin have been a disaster. “They’re a long way apart,” the person explained.
Despite the fact Manchin and Biden formed a close connection this year and collaborated on numerous, significant pieces of legislation, the slow pace of their meetings threatens to disrupt their good relationship.
Frustration with Manchin is high and rising among White House officials. According to two White House sources, while Biden loves Manchin personally, he, too, has become impatient with the drawn-out negotiations.
Biden will eventually press Manchin to make a choice and support the legislation.
Do the Democrats Know How to Sort This Out?
Neither Biden nor Manchin sees the fact this bill is unlikely to pass until 2022 as a threat to their friendship or the bill itself.
Manchin’s Senate allies insist he’s not trying to derail Biden’s plan, even if he disagrees with Biden and other Democrats on when the bill should be passed.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill represents a historic investment in West Virginia’s infrastructure – around $6 billion over the next 5 years. Here are some of the investments that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill will bring to #WV: pic.twitter.com/pyRF3MyHox
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 6, 2021
“They may hold opposing viewpoints on the subject of timing. It’s not so much a question of whether, but when and how much,” said Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine, who is primarily focused on persuading Manchin to alter Senate rules in order to pass electoral reform.
Biden spent the majority of the autumn campaign attempting to gain Manchin’s support, even visiting him in Delaware. Manchin never stated specifically he supports the measure, which focuses on childcare, climate change, pre-kindergarten, and tax policy.
Manchin has also expressed serious concerns about the bill’s structure, criticizing its ten-year financing, while lawmakers are approving initiatives for shorter periods of time.
“Sen. Manchin isn’t directing President Biden on what he should or shouldn’t include in his speech.”
According to a person acquainted with Manchin’s thinking, “he has always been favorable of the child tax credit. He also stated the price tag should not exceed $1.75 trillion.”