Rebuild better: Biden insists he and Manchin ‘will do something’ after setback

“Some people think I might not be Irish because I don’t have a grudge. But I want to get things done,” Biden said, when asked if the West Virginia Democrat had broke her commitment to him. “I still think there is an opportunity to make Build Back Better done.”

The president also told reporters that he was “told (Manchin) he was speaking in the Liberal caucus in the House and said,” Joe Biden did not mislead you, I misled you. “” It was not clear which meeting Biden was referring to.

Later Tuesday, the White House attempted to clean up that comment.

“The president stressed that constructive and respectful conversations take place in good faith between himself, Senator Manchin and other lawmakers. However, the president insisted that Senator Manchin did not call himself” misleading. “” said the White House MP. Press secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement on Tuesday evening. “The President looks forward to continuing to work with Senator Manchin and his colleagues in the Senate and House to address shared priorities based on common values.”

CNN has reached out to Manchin’s office for comment on Biden’s remarks.

Manchin spoke to the Democratic Senate caucus on a Tuesday night call that his spokesperson called “an honest conversation with his colleagues for whom he has a great deal of respect.”

West Virginia told the caucus it had been consistent over the past five months, saying inflation was an issue and noting it had raised geopolitical concerns as well. He said they needed tax reform to force the rich to pay more, according to an informed source on the call.

Another source familiar with the call said the senator told caucus: “Inflation is a serious problem. These programs will cost more than they say. I cannot add to the debt.” The source added that Democrats have spoken up and challenged Manchin’s characterizations.

Schumer pushes to vote

Senate Majority Leader Chuck said during the private caucus call that Democrats will vote on the sweeping economy and climate bill in January, a Democratic source told CNN.

The source said Schumer told the caucus that the Build Back Better provisions are necessary and too important to drop. “I know we are all frustrated with this result. However, we are not giving up on BBB. Full stop. We will not stop working on it until we pass a bill,” said the New York Democrat.

During the call, Democrats expressed their desire to push through a bill and expressed concerns that the process could go off the rails, the source said.

Manchin announced on Sunday that he could not support Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which required his support for it to pass in the Senate, where Democrats have an ultra-thin majority. “I cannot vote to continue with this bill. I just cannot. I have tried everything humanly possible. I cannot do it,” he told Fox News. “It’s a no to this legislation. I’ve tried everything I can do.”

The move sparked widespread outrage from progressives, many of whom questioned his party allegiance and questioned whether he could drop his affiliation after thwarting one of the Democrats’ top legislative priorities.

Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, appeared to catch the back and forth in an interview with the New York Times on Tuesday, saying “obviously we would like to have him on our squad” and, “I think ‘he would be more comfortable. “
But Manchin has made it clear he still sees himself as a Democrat even after his Sunday announcement. When asked in a large interview Monday if there was still a place for him in the party, he told West Virginia Radio: “Well, I think so.”

“I would like to hope that there are still Democrats who feel like me.… I am socially – I am fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” he said. “Now if there aren’t Democrats like that, then they’ll have to push me where they want me.”

Talks to continue

A source familiar with the matter said Manchin told his colleagues on Tuesday evening that he would continue to speak but had problems with the current bill.

The senator has indicated that he will not be quick to back a scaled-down version of the plan, arguing that he should instead go through the committee process before trying to get it through the Senate through the battle-proof reconciliation process. ‘obstruction. This stance portends grim prospects for Biden’s hopes of getting even a narrow plan through Congress.
Still, the president insisted on Tuesday that there is a way forward for the legislation, as he touted it as an important tool to tackle rising inflation and tackle drug costs.

“I’m not kidding about it. Imagine being a parent watching a child and you can’t afford it – you don’t have a house to borrow, you don’t have any savings. is wrong. But all the things in this bill are going to lower the prices and the costs for the middle class and the working class. It will lower their costs, “he said.

This story was updated with additional information on Tuesday.

CNN’s Lauren Fox and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.

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