Schumer responds to Manchin’s ‘serious concerns’ over Dems’ $3.5T spending plan: ‘We need to come together’

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday he is confident Senator Joe Manchin has “serious concerns” about democrats the massive $3.5 trillion spending plan won’t stand in the way of the package that is an important part of President Biden’s agenda.

“Early this morning, I voted ‘YES’ on a procedural vote to make progress in the budget reconciliation process because I think it’s important to discuss the future of this country’s fiscal policy,” said Manchin, DW.Va. , in a statement. . “However, I am deeply concerned about the dire consequences for West Virginians and any American family if Congress decides to spend an additional $3.5 trillion.”
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Among Manchin’s concerns are government debt and inflation. But Schumer said at a news conference Wednesday that he thinks Democrats will eventually pass a bill that includes Biden’s entire agenda — though he had few details.

“There are some in my caucus who might believe it’s too much. There are some in my caucus who might believe it’s too little,” said Schumer, DN.Y. “I can tell you this: in reconciliation, one, we’re all going to come together to get something done and two will have every part of the Biden plan in a big, bold, robust way.”

Schumer added that it will “definitely not be” “easy”, but said “every member of our caucus realizes that unity is our strength … we must come together.”

Asked to specifically address Manchin’s inflation problems, Schumer said Democrats plan to pay for their plan with tax increases that “follow Biden’s rules: closing loopholes so that the rich and large corporations can finally , finally, finally paying their fair share.”

Manchin isn’t the first moderate Democrat to voice his reservations about the massive spending plan championed by Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, I-Vt. sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., said last month, “as I will support the beginning of this process” [of budget reconciliation], I don’t support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion.”

sen.  Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and NY Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, right, walk away from a budget resolution meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Schumer said Wednesday he is confident about spending concerns and inflation of moderate senators won't derail Sanders' reconciliation package.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and NY Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, right, walk away from a budget resolution meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Schumer said Wednesday he is confident about spending concerns and inflation of moderate senators won’t derail Sanders’ reconciliation package. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
((AP Photo/Andrew Harnik))

INFRASTRUCTURE BILL FACING DIFFICULT OBSTACLES IN THE HOME AS DEMS REQUIRE A HUGE $3.5T LIBERAL WISH LIST

But the timing of Manchin’s statement and the fact that there are now two Democrats expressing at least some degree of opposition to the massive spending signals that the final bill may need to be cut significantly to get the 50 Senate Democratic votes it needs. has. But shrinking the bill, however, could cause other problems — there’s no guarantee that progressives in the House or Senate will accept a reconciliation bill that’s significantly lowered.

Any Democrat senator or a handful of House Democrats can sink the reconciliation bill because of their party’s minuscule majorities in every chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., meanwhile, have said they won’t vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill until a reconciliation bill they like has passed the Senate. This could lead to a spiraling deadlock within the party.

Manchin went on Wednesday to warn of the potential consequences of such massive congressional spending.

“Over the past year, Congress injected more than $5 trillion in stimulus into the U.S. economy — more than at any time since World War II — to respond to the pandemic. The challenge we now face is different: Millions of jobs remain unfilled. around the world, and rising inflation rates are now an inevitable burden on the wages and income of every American,” he said. “These are not indications of an economy requiring trillions of additional spending.”

“Adding trillions of dollars to nearly $29 trillion in national debt, without considering the negative effects on our children and grandchildren, is one of those decisions that has become far too easy in Washington,” Manchin added. “Given the current state of economic recovery, it is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels better suited to responding to a Great Depression or Great Recession — not an economy on the brink of overheating.”

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Republicans are unanimously against Democrat budget reconciliation. Former President Donald Trump said in a statement Wednesday, “This legislation is an attack on our nation, on our communities and on the American dream.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Manchin’s statement.

The Senate successfully passed the Democrats’ budget resolution early in the morning with the help of Manchin and Sinema. It is likely to be approved by the House shortly after it returns to session later this month. But the real hard work of drafting and ultimately approving the legislation will likely drag on well into the fall.

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