Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday became the latest Democrat to express confidence that Sen. Joe Manchin would ultimately back the president’s spending plan – even after Manchin once again threw off leaders’ plans for floor action with a blistering statement Monday.
Asked in an appearance on CNN whether he was ‘very confident’ President Biden could get Manchin’s support, Buttigieg responded: ‘
‘Absolutely. Very confident that this can get through the House and the Senate,’ said Buttigieg.
‘You know, a few days ago, i said we’re the closest we’ve ever been. This morning, we’re closer still. We want to see this literally signed, sealed, and delivered. But what is clear is there is enormous momentum behind this legislation,’ he said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he was ‘very confident’ the president’s $1.75 trillion framework can get through the House and the Senate
Manchin showed obvious frustration at a Capitol press conference Monday, amid repeated demands from progressives that he and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) issue a clear statement of support of the $1.75 ‘framework’ agreement announced by the White House before Biden’s trip to Europe.
But Manchin, who said Friday he was operating in ‘good faith,’ refused to go further.
‘Simply put, I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it will have on our national debt, our economy,’ he said.
‘I’m open to supporting a final bill that helps move our country forward. But I am equally open to voting against a bill that hurts our country,’ he said, once again leaving his final view in doubt.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said progressive lawmakers ‘trust’ President Biden to marshal support to get the package through the Senate
‘Simply put, I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it will have on our national debt, our economy,’ said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Democrats Monday and has plans to try to bring the package up for a vote this week
Manchin’s refusal to grant his full support has not caused House progressive lawmakers to bolt, however. House Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) told CNN’s ‘New Day’ she was willing to ‘trust’ the president to get the bill through.
‘We’ve always said we’re going to trust the president once we have the bill and the vote,’ she said.
She was pressed on why lawmakers would trust Biden last Thursday and vote for a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill.
President Joe Biden didn’t respond to shouted questions about Manchin on Tuesday
In her statement, Bush claimed that ethnic minority communities are ‘overwhelmingly excluded from the bipartisan infrastructure deal,’ a separate bill, urging her colleagues not to ‘leave anyone behind.’
‘We were not ready to have a vote on the [$1.75 trillion] Build Back Better Act. This week we will have votes on both the infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act, together. Which is what we’ve called for for weeks. So we finally got what we’ve been saying,’ she said.
‘Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti-black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-immigrant,’ Bush stated. ‘Senator Manchin must support the Build Back Better Act,’ wrote Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.0
‘Some of the members are nervous about what the Senate is going to do. But at this point, we feel that having had conversations with Sen. Sinema, having talked to the president, having had the president come [to speak to Democrats], that we will trust the president, that he will get 51 votes in the senate for it,’ said Jayapal.
She also spoke to a potential schedule for final legislative action.
‘The Senate will move this forward very quickly. Hopefully we can get it done before Thanksgiving,’ she said.
Manchin, in his remarks Monday that infuriated some House Democrats, also said he will not support a bill ‘that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our $29 trillion debt that no one seems to really care about or really talk about. Nor will I support a package that risks hurting American families suffering from historic inflation.’
Lawmakers are awaiting a score from the Congressional Budget Office on a measure the White House says is fully paid-for.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) ripped Manchin’s remarks on Monday.
‘Joe Manchin does not get to dictate the future of our country,’ Bush said in a statement. ‘I do not trust his assessment of what our communities need the most. I trust the parents in my district who can’t get to their shift without childcare.
‘Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti-black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-immigrant,’ Bush added. ‘Senator Manchin must support the Build Back Better Act,’ she fumed.
Jayapal downplayed the fury. ‘Well, look, people are frustrated. I told everybody in the final days of a negotiation, tempers flare, people say things that they feel. And it is real,’ she said.
President Joe Biden didn’t respond to shouted questions about Manchin on Tuesday at an environmental summit in Scotland.