Democrats are unlikely to pass Biden’s social spending plan

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (R) listens to President Joe Biden deliver his comments on his proposed ‘Build Back Better’ social spending bill in the East Room of the White House on Jan. October 2021 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | beautiful pictures

President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate policy bill has stalled in the Senate, all but the Democrats’ hopes of passing it this year.

Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat who could block his party’s plan, did not sign off on the $1.75 trillion proposal as his party waited to see if it would comply. comply with the rules of the Senate. It means any vote on the bill will likely slip in 2022, when the upcoming midterm elections will only increase the harsh political pressure around the plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday said his party will “continue to work to get the Senate into a position where we can vote on the president’s Better Return Building legislation.” He didn’t mention his goal of getting the plan approved by Christmas – a goal date he’s been repeating over and over for weeks.

Asked on Wednesday if he believes the bill can be passed this year, Biden said, “I hope so. It’s coming to an end.”

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Failure to complete the plan by 2021 will have immediate impacts. The enhanced child tax credit of up to $300 a month per child will expire at the end of the year unless extended by Congress. Final payments for the family wednesday outingand the Better Rebuilding Act will renew them for one year.

Manchin on Wednesday was rejected a report that his opposition to extending the larger child tax credit is giving the bill support. According to NBC News, he said he “always gives tax credits to kids,” before becoming irritated with reporters asking him about the law.

“I’m not negotiating with any of you, okay?” he say. “So you can ask all the questions you want – guys, let me go. These are bulls —. You are bulls —. Okay. I’m done, I’m done! “

Democrats are considering options to continue the child tax credit through a separate bill. It’s unclear how they will pass the extension, as they likely won’t win the 10 Republican votes needed to disrupt an election.

When the bill hits a wall, the Senate will turn its attention to other priorities. Senate Democrats discussed possible tools to get around the wheel and pass the voting rights bill in the coming weeks without Republican support.

The idea of ​​using a temporary thread engraving gained traction after Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., voted to use a similar tactic to surpassed the debt ceiling increase this week. Democrats tried to pass federal voting rights legislation this year after several states passed restrictive voting laws, but Republicans blocked their effort, insisting states should control the voting rights. election.

US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) pauses during his address to reporters at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US November 1, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

A delay in passing the Better Rebuilding Act would have larger implications beyond the Senate’s plan. Democrats see the legislation as a package of changes that would make child care and health more affordable, provide an extra layer of financial support to families, and make the biggest investment in limiting climate change in the world. country history. More and more in limbo, Democrats must continue to deal with an appearance they have failed to achieve with their constituency.

Republicans call it an overdue spending plan that could fuel inflation. The bill’s failure would provide an opportunity for Democrats to discourage ineffectiveness even as they continue to criticize their platform.

The fate of the law can affect midterms. Democrats have been looking for progress they can sell to voters as Republicans show support for regaining control of the House – and potentially the Senate.

Biden’s approval rating has dropped despite the economic aid that Democrats have provided this year and the passage of bipartisan infrastructure legislation. Voters may not see the benefits of the infrastructure package for months or years.

Manchin has not ruled out voting on the pending climate and social spending bill. But even after he pushed his party to lower the plan’s price to $1.75 trillion from $3.5 trillion, he expressed concern about the cost and potential for inflation. it.

Manchin spoke with Biden this week, but the conversations yielded no clear breakthrough on his plans to Build a Better Back. Asked Wednesday about Schumer’s Christmas goal to pass the bill, Manchin noted that the Senate congressman has not yet ruled on what Democrats can include in the final package.

“We have nothing to vote on!” he say.

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