Democrats sounded like they’ve given up on President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill passing anytime soon.
Biden needs a win, and if his signature $1.7 trillion social spending bill doesn’t pass now, it may never happen.
The conversational wisdom has long been that “Build Back Better” will eventually pass, if with a lower price tag than progressives demanded.
- But that began to change Wednesday as top Democrats sought to shift focus to passing voting rights legislation by the end of the year.
President Joe Biden: “I hope so. It’s going to be close,” Biden said when asked about Build Back Better passing in December, before suggesting later in the day that Democrats should instead push through voting reform.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: “I would like to see Build Back Better dealt with as quickly as possible, but if we can’t deal with it right now, it’s far more important that we deal with the voting rights issue,” Sanders said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Ca.: “I’m still hopeful that it will pass. I’m not going to have a post mortem on something that hasn’t died,” Pelosi said of Build Back Better at her weekly news conference.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.: “This week, Democrats also continue working on getting the Senate into a position where we can vote on the president’s Build Back Better legislation,” Schumer said, without mentioning his Christmas deadline for the first time in a while.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.: “This is bullsh*t. You’re bullsh*t,” Manchin told a HuffPost reporter who asked about his refusal to support Build Back Better, effectively blocking the bill’s passage in the Senate, which is evenly split along party lines.
An informed source: “The talks between [Biden] and Manchin have been going very poorly. They are far apart,” Politico quoted the anonymous source saying about a series of recent meetings in which the president failed to win the senator’s support for Build Back Better.
SO MUCH LOSING
Democrats’ hopes of salvaging a year-end win were dashed Wednesday night when Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., reiterated that she would not support weakening the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation.
Without the votes to pass either bill, the party will likely have to push any votes on the measures into next year, when mounting political pressure ahead of the 2022 midterm elections will make passage difficult.
- Republicans were heavily favored to win the House and widely seen as having a slight advantage in the Senate.