Biden bombs on persuading Manchin to budge on proposed $3.5T spending bill
President Biden failed to convince Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) To spend $ 3.5 trillion on the Democrats' budget adjustment package during their Oval Office meeting on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter told Axios.
Why It Matters: Opposing a president from his own party - face to face - is the strongest sign that Manchin is serious about slashing certain programs and bringing the price of a potential bill to $ 1.5 trillion to limit. His insistence could undo the deal for progressives and others.
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Axios was told that Biden Manchin said his opposition could jeopardize the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate. Biden's analysis did little to convince Manchin to increase its sales.
Manchin remained in position and appears willing to leave bipartisan law pending as he has solidified many of the specific proposals of the $ 3.5 trillion spending package, Axios was told.
While the two left the meeting without making much headway and still about $ 2 trillion apart, the conversation was friendly and they agreed to keep talking.
What they say "Sen. Manchin is an important partner," said Andrew Bates, White House deputy press secretary. "We don't discuss the content of private meetings."
Flashback: In early March, when Biden's $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package threatened to fail, he called Manchin and told him, "If you don't come along, you're really fucking me," according to a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
Manchin eventually voted for the bill after sticking to a few last-minute changes.
Between the lines: while Biden has claimed he has a two-pronged approach to the two spending bills, he has occasionally skipped it - for example, when shortly after being approved, he essentially threatened to veto the bipartisan transportation law.
Two days later, Biden withdrew his threat, saying in a statement that a veto threat "was certainly not my intention".
His recent comments on Manchin linking the two bills underscore a political reality on Capitol Hill: House progressives will cut the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan transportation bill if Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) Don't agree to massive new spending in the reconciliation package.
Biden wants to use the reconciliation package only for Democrats to expand the social safety net as part of his Build Back Better Agenda.
The big picture: Biden founded his presidency on his ability to appeal to Republicans and help heal the country.
He also counted on dusting off some signature Senate moves to convince his former Republican colleagues to help him usher in a new, bipartisan political world after Trump.
With the exception of a bipartisan China bill, the president has had little success convincing Senate Republicans to support his priorities. Opposition hardened after enforcing a $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill in March.
In the past few days, Republicans seem even more unruly as Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Insists Democrats on raising the debt ceiling themselves. and Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) all but freeze the Senate verification process.
Go Deeper: The White House said Thursday night the president had "ongoing coordination and outreach with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.)." to encourage building an economy "spoken that delivers for the middle class."
Editor's Note: Senator Mitch McConnell's political affiliation has been corrected to show that he is a Republican.
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US Senator from West Virginia
46th and current President of the United States
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