Schumer Pledges to 'Do Something' on Biden Agenda Amid Manchin's Opposition to Build Back Better

© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZU.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) gets into a car as he leaves the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) gets into a car as he leaves the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
Among all the obstacles that Joe Biden's massive "Build Back Better" spending plan has faced within the Democratic Party, the latest one, posed by Senator Joe Manchin, is considered by many to be potentially fatal to the sweeping presidential agenda.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has penned a letter to his fellow Democrats pledging a vote on Build Back Better "very early in the new year" despite the fallout from Senator Manchin's opposition to the bill.

“We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act — and we will keep voting on it until we get something done", Schumer told Democrats in the letter.

A similar sentiment was voiced earlier by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who vowed more negotiations on the Biden plan and expressed hopes for an early vote next year shortly after a holdout Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, announced his opposition to the bill on Fox News.
In his letter, Schumer said that the vote would be held as soon as possible in 2022, "so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television", apparently referring to Manchin's speech on Fox News on Sunday.
Manchin explained that he "cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation", even though he had "tried everything humanly possible" to "get there". His stance prompted a wave of criticism from fellow Democrats, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki criticising him for "reversing" his position and "breaching" his commitments to the party and the president.
The Build Back Better plan is viewed by the Biden administration and a majority of Democrats as "vital", touting its generous spending ambitions in the areas of social benefits, healthcare, infrastructure, and climate agenda.
However, the bill has been weathering the reality of US' economic issues such as high inflation and the pandemic's aftermath - something that has frequently sparked debate on the legislation even within the Democratic Party. The bill, initially envisaging some $3 trillion in spending, has been trimmed several times in order for the Democrats to be unified in support of it in both Chambers of Congress, especially in the Senate, where the president's party has a razor-thin majority and needs every vote to push the legislation through.
Schumer in his letter acknowledged that while there were some accomplishments in the legislative process around the presidential plan, "this session has also led to moments of deep discontent and frustration". Still, the majority leader believes the party "simply cannot give up" and has to continue to push Build Back Better through.
A virtual Special Caucus to discuss all the acute issues around the BBB has been scheduled for 21 December - notably the longest night of the year.
The congressional misfortunes of Biden's bill have been met with content in the Republican Party, as its members have been predictably opposed to the agenda from the very beginning. According to GOP lawmakers, Build Back Better is a "bad bill" that would only deteriorate the US economy and push the already worrying inflation figures even higher.
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