October 21, 2021

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Biden fails to win over Manchin on $3.5T budget: report – New York Post

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President Biden failed to convince a key Democratic senator to support his $3.5 trillion spending plan during an Oval Office pow-wow, a report said Thursday.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia remained firm in his opposition to any budget that costs more than $1.5 trillion, according to Axios.

Biden reportedly tried to persuade Manchin that his opposition to the larger spending measure could endanger a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that is currently awaiting a vote in the House, to no avail.

Despite the vast gulf between Biden and Manchin, Axios reported the meeting was cordial and the two agreed to keep talking.

“Sen. Manchin is an important partner,” said Andrew Bates, deputy White House press secretary, according to the outlet. “We do not discuss the contents of private meetings.”

The proposed $3.5 trillion plan, which is backed by most congressional Democrats, would hike some corporate and income tax rates to create new initiatives to subsidize parenthood, education and health care, as well as fund new housing and environmental programs.

The measure would make community college free and would create universal free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. It would cap child care expenses for most workers at 7 percent of income and subsidize 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Washington.
President Biden has proposed a $3.5 trillion spending plan, which is attempting to be passed under reconciliation in the Senate.
Evan Vucci/AP

The White House has tried to cast the budget as Biden’s attempt to follow in the footsteps of massive government programs like Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

The bill only needs 51 votes to pass the Senate under the parliamentary gambit of reconciliation. However, with the chamber divided 50-50, Democrats must not lose a single member of their caucus — and Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have already said they will not support legislation costing $3.5 trillion.

In March, Biden called Manchin to garner support for his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill and told him, “If you don’t come along, you’re really f**king me,” according to an upcoming book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Fox Business reported.

The red-state Dem eventually voted to approve the relief plan after negotiating to lower unemployment benefits and axe a provision which would have more than doubled the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.

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