Democrats try to ‘build back’ after Senator Manchin tanks $2 trillion bill

Washington DC: President Joe Biden appeared determined Tuesday to return to the negotiating table with Senator Joe Manchin, the holdout Democrat who effectively tanked the party’s signature $2 trillion domestic policy initiative.

Biden, responding to reporters’ questions at the White House, joked that he holds no grudges against the conservative West Virginia senator whose rejection of the social services and climate change bill stunned Washington just days ago. “Sen. Manchin and I are going to get something done,” Biden said.

Moreover, the president spoke passionately about the families that would benefit from the Democrats’ ambitious plan to pour billions of dollars into child care, health care, and other services. “I want to get things done,” Biden said. “I still think there’s a possibility of getting Build Back Better done.”

Biden insisted that his package would help ease inflationary pressures and pointed to analyses suggesting it would boost the economy.

The president’s remarks constitute his first public statement as Democrats struggle to pick up the pieces from Manchin’s announcement over the weekend that he would not support the bill, as is. But the Democrats face serious questions over whether the $2 trillion initiative can be refashioned to win his crucial vote or the party will be saddled with a devastating defeat.

Biden and Manchin spoke on December 19, according to a person familiar with the call, first reported by Politico. It was cordial and respectful, said the person who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Image courtesy of (Photo Courtesy: AP)

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