West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin told reporters this week his ideas of what a new, scaled down spending bill from the White House should look like if the Biden administration wants a reconciliation.
The key vote-holder from West Virginia is the White House’s biggest roadblock when it comes to passing a spending bill. Manchin effectively killed the president’s Build Back Better bill last year when he refused to vote for it after months of negotiations.
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“Reconciliation to me is about getting inflation under control, paying down this debt, getting a handle on what’s going on,” Manchin said this week after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“The White House is throwing every iteration at him,” one senior administration official said about the talks with Manchin. “But the relationship got to a bad place [last year], in part because of tactics used on both sides.”
One White House adviser told the Washington Post, “There’s real fear inside the building that Manchin’s stonewalling will run out the clock on Biden’s legislative agenda throughout the rest of the year, leading the administration and congressional Democrats into November without anything else to offer voters.”
Sam Runyon, a spokeswoman for Manchin, said in an email to the Post that the senator “is always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward.”
Runyon added, “He remains seriously concerned about the financial status of our country and believes fighting inflation by restoring fairness to our tax system and paying down our national debt must be our first priority.”