Democrats Ready to Punt Social Policy Bill to 2022 as Manchin Balks


According to a person with knowledge of the discussions between Vice President Biden and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the senator had proposed eliminating the expanded payment altogether, which would put the support of other liberal Democrats at risk.. A second official said that Mr. Manchin had expressed concerns about the subsidy being extended beyond the current one-year timeframe because of an increase in inflation, the absence of a work requirement to qualify for payments, and additional costs. This official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

When pressed on whether he supported the expanded credits on Wednesday, Mr. Manchin became agitated and offered a profane denial that he was against the provision, dismissing what he called “bad rumours.”

Before Wednesday’s distribution of the year’s final instalments to beneficiaries, White House officials had warned that passage of an extension bill into law was essential to avoid a funding gap.

Beyond Mr. Manchin’s concerns, Democrats were still rushing to finish the legislation and resolve remaining policy differences, including an unfinished compromise on raising the cap of state and local tax deductions.

Because the fast-track budget reconciliation process, which protects fiscal legislation from a filibuster, is being used to push the package through Congress, strict rules govern what can be included in the package. To ensure that every provision passes muster with the Senate parliamentarian, Democrats are putting in long hours of hard work. Several key proposals, including immigration provisions, have yet to receive official guidance as Republicans challenge their inclusion in the rules.

Democrats, on the other hand, have focused on Senator Manchin, whose concerns have already prompted them to drop or modify several of the measure’s key components, including the elimination of anti-climate change provisions and the elimination of a federal paid family medical leave benefit.

Concerns about the package’s impact on inflation and the economy were a constant refrain from him.

One of the most prominent Democrats on Capitol Hill said earlier this week that “he has made some dramatic changes” in regards to this legislation and its content as well as its total amount. Joe, you’ve made your mark on this bill. Now, seal the deal!” I told him. Still, it’s the same for me.”