Wait Until 2022? Biden Believes Dems Will Advance Build Back Better Plan ‘Over Days and Weeks Ahead’
02:46 GMT 17.12.2021 (Updated: 02:47 GMT 17.12.2021)
Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending bill has already been passed in the House of Representatives, but has yet to be approved in the Senate, where Democrats would have to convince all their colleagues in the chamber to vote for the bill due to the even 50-50 split.
US President Joe Biden said in a statement issued Thursday that he expects Democrats to overcome their internal divisions and ultimately pass the $1.75 trillion social and climate spending bill.
"I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition," Biden said.
Biden added that he has had a "productive call" with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and also spoke to Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who objects to a number of provisions of the bill.
16 December 2021, 20:34 GMT
"It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote. We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead," suggesting it might not be approved by the end of the year.
He reiterated that the bill is urgently needed to “lower the cost of prescription drugs, health care, child care, and elder care.”
Disagreements among Democrats amid record-breaking inflation have stalled the bill, which has already been significantly cut in recent months from its original $3.5 trillion cost.
Earlier in December, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, because no Republicans will vote for the Democrats’ spending package in the evenly divided Senate, he was hopeful that one Democrat will come forward and stop the proposal from becoming law. He was talking about Manchin, the Democrat who has expressed the strongest reservations about the legislation. McConnell said he pulls for Manchin every day and prays for Manchin every night.