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Manchin Draws Line With White House On Spending Package: Report
U.S. Lawmakers Narrow Infrastructure Gaps Without Reaching Deal Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, speaks during a news conference in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. A bipartisan group of senators and the White House reached a tentative agreement on a $550 billion infrastructure package, a significant breakthrough in the drive to muscle through Congress a massive infusion of spending for roads, bridges and other critical projects. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images Bloomberg / Contributor via Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WV) has reportedly said he would not support more than $1.5 trillion in an upcoming spending package Democrats are attempting to push through.

As the New York Post reported on Tuesday, “Returning to the White House from a visit to New York and New Jersey to survey damage wrought by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, Biden was asked by reporters if he had recently spoken with Manchin about his opposition to the current proposal.”

“Joe, at the end, has always been there,” Biden said. “He’s always been with me. I think we can work something out. And I look forward to speaking with him.”

Biden’s attitude regarding Manchin’s stance is perhaps not as well-founded as he may have hoped. According to Axios, the senator told the administration and leaders in Congress that he is taking issue with Biden’s spending plan of $3.5 trillion. 

Axios reported:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has privately warned the White House and congressional leaders that he has specific policy concerns with President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending dream — and he’ll support as little as $1 trillion of it.

At most, he’s open to supporting $1.5 trillion, sources familiar with the discussions say.

The Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure package at $1.2 trillion. 

As The Daily Wire reported last week, Manchin wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. He explained his stance on the Democratic budget reconciliation plan and called on members to pause the efforts while the country struggles with inflation. 

In his op-ed, Manchin stated, “I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs.” 

“This is even more important now as the Social Security and Medicare Trustees have sounded the alarm that these life-saving programs will be insolvent and benefits could start to be reduced as soon as 2026 for Medicare and 2033, a year earlier than previously projected, for Social Security,” he added.  

“Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation. A pause is warranted because it will provide more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic, and it will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not,” Manchin noted.

The Senate is split down the middle, so Biden would need a vote from Manchin in order to get his massive spending bill through — which has no Republican support. Biden appeared to try to push Manchin in his direction over the past week. 

After Manchin’s op-ed was published, Biden appeared to respond to Manchin’s claims that he would not support a massive Democratic spending plan. Biden said the government should have two priorities this month, with the main one framed as beating the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The second thing that has to happen in September is for the Congress, the House and Senate, to finish passing my economic agenda so that we can keep up the historic momentum we’ve been building,” Biden said 

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