© Reuters. U.S. President Joe Biden arrives for vacation via the Marine One helicopter at Gordons Pond in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, U.S. December 27, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden and Senator Joe Manchin spoke about the “Build Back Better” bill a day after the conservative Democratic senator publicly rejected the president’s social spending plans, a White House adviser said on Friday.
“He (Biden) has some confidence about that (bill), including discussions he has had with Senator Manchin,” Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House council of economic advisers, said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
“The president and Senator Manchin – the day after that announcement where the senator said he couldn’t vote for the bill as it was – they were talking again.”
Reuters previously reported that Biden and Manchin made no significant progress in the talks after Manchin’s rejection of the plan earlier in December but aides felt reassured that lines of communication were still open and cordial. Biden told reporters this week that the pair have not spoken since then.
Manchin’s rejection imperils the legislation because his support is crucial in the Senate where the Democrats have the slimmest margin of control and Republicans are united in their opposition to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the chamber would vote on a package in early 2022.
Manchin’s move prompted investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE:) to lower its forecasts for U.S. economic growth. Manchin’s rejection of the bill threatened to scuttle hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for measures to fight climate change and meet the Biden administration’s climate goals.
Manchin has expressed concerns about a number of proposals in Biden’s signature domestic policy bill, including multiple climate proposals and extending monthly child tax credit payments.
Biden told reporters after Manchin’s rejection that he and the senator were “going to get something done” on the legislation.
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a leading liberal House Democrat, has asked Biden to continue focusing on the social spending legislation and urged him to use executive action despite Manchin’s public rejection of the plan.
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