Manchin says he won’t be pressured into reconciliation vote

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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said Monday he won’t be pressured into supporting a $1.75 trillion expansion of the nation’s social safety net and urged House progressives to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in the interim.

Why it matters: Manchin’s declarations — and the unusually strong language he used in making them — show Democrats are no closer to passing the two bills that House leaders had hoped to move this week, and President Biden has said will define his presidency.

  • Holding this [infrastructure] bill hostage is not going to work in getting my support for the reconciliation bill,” Manchin said.
  • “As more of the real details of the basic framework [for the reconciliation bill] are released, what I see are shell games — budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount … if you extended it permanently.”
  • “While I’ve worked hard to find a path to compromise, it’s obvious compromise is not good enough for a lot of my colleagues in Congress. It’s all or nothing, and their position doesn’t seem to change unless we agree to everything.”

Manchin addressed reporters in a Senate briefing room as lawmakers returned to Washington after last week’s frenzied activity surrounding both bills.

  • House progressives fear Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) will gut the reconciliation bill.
  • They’ve vowed to withhold their pivotal bloc of votes for the infrastructure bill unless
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