Senate Democrats are quietly laboring to address a big demand from Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the Democratic holdout that sank the centerpiece bill carrying President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.
In recent days, Democrats across four committees scheduled hearings on major planks of the shelved social and climate spending legislation such as childcare, clean energy, and in-home care for the elderly. On Tuesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) panel held a hearing on childcare and universal pre-K.
There have been signs recently that Sen. Joe Manchin is ready to resume negotiations on the massive climate and social spending package he torpedoed late last year, according to people knowledgeable on the matter.
Five people who included environmental advocates, lobbyists and senior congressional staff members confirmed to E&E News yesterday that the West Virginia Democrat and chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee views the April-May Senate work period as a new goal to reach a deal on a scaled-back budget reconciliation bill known as the “Build Back Better Act.”
Four of the people who spoke to E&E News said text is now being passed around, though one person described it as “pencil to paper” to underscore that new legislative language was still in its most nebulous early stages. They were granted anonymity because of the delicate nature of negotiations.
We’re wasting our energy and definitely our time negotiating with him. Manchin just trying to run out the 2022 Pie Fight clock and see to it that there’s no time to do anything else on the legislative agenda.
And remember: Sinema is opposed to anything Manchin wanted and vice-versa. There is nothing to gain. Stop this, it is insane.