On Tuesday, the current president of the US, Joe Biden, met with Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Senator Joe Manchin. Biden met both the Senators separately with an expectation to get their support for a comprehensive bill centering on education, medical care, and climate change.
The bill’s price might reach 3.5 trillion dollars. Also, without the support of the democrats and the Senate equally divided at 50-50, the bill would need to be passed via reconciliation.
Statement of Manchin and Sinema
Both Sinema and Manchin have given their statements about the bill. They believe that it is too big, and to attain their backing, it needs to be curbed. President Joe Biden was ready to visit Chicago on Wednesday to talk about coronavirus shots. However, he canceled his tour. Therefore, Biden can remain in Washington and assist with negotiations.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who hasn’t openly said what she needs to shed from the reconciliation bill, didn’t give the answers to questions asked by the reporters following her meeting with the president.
On the other hand, Manchin has shared his issues with the bill that entails the extension of health care and a program that would pay electricity businesses to source their energy from renewable sources. Manchin’s meeting with the president lasted for nearly one hour.
The position of Manchin highlights the trouble facing democratic leadership as they function to progress the extensive spending bill projected by Biden and his associates in the barely distributed Congress. In addition, he is not the sole Republican stating questions, possibly imperiling the bill, which governance expects to pass with only Democratic votes.
On Sunday evening, Senator Mark Warner stated that he thinks the spending bill falls short as there are no sufficient funds for housing assistance.
Warner even mentioned in a statement that we have a responsibility to utilize this ancient asset to address long-term injustices of supremacy and opportunity that have left black families with a net worth one-tenth the size of their white equivalents.
Each vote is important for the Republicans in their caucus to pass through the Senate along straight party lines. In addition, many moderates with Sinema and Manchin have hoisted red flags, showing that they don’t support spending 3.5 trillion dollars.
Sen. Manchin said that he needs to decelerate the timeline, as he proposed in his Wall Street Journal op-ed past this month, to check where payments for the coronavirus impetus bill are going and understand what sections to aim for the extension of social security.
He also mentioned that he does not think passing the bill by the given deadline laid out by Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker) can be executed. Manchin said that there is no way we can get this done by the September 27 deadline if we perform our job. “There are so many disparities that we have, and there is so much besides us to where we are to the extent that I am providing you with several things. I have been working with people, I am going to discuss with people,” said Manchin.
Nancy Pelosi the previous month agreed to moderate Republicans and agreed to have a vote by 27th September on the bill. However, in case the suggestion for reconciliation has not passed the Senate by that time, it is not clear if they would possess the vote to push through the bill and send it to the President.
The vote was a request to moderate Republicans, for who the bill is a priority, mainly those who are from swing regions. On Wednesday, Ilhan Omar of the Minnesota state said that there are no votes to pass any bill without passing the whole plan.
Jen Psaki said that president Joe Biden is committed to receiving elements of his plan via Congress. Psaki also said that at the moment, what we are steering through is how we can acquire agreement, obviously, 50 votes in the Senate on a reconciliation bill.
For unveiling the second larger bill, Congress is waiting on Senate moderates to disclose the amount they will back. Sen. Manchin has given a hint that he could support 1.5 trillion dollars, whereas Sinema has been more careful.