White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond said on Sunday that President BidenJoe BidenBiden: Democrats' spending plan is 'a bigger darn deal' than Obamacare Biden says he's open to altering, eliminating filibuster to advance voting rights Biden: Comment that DOJ should prosecute those who defy subpoenas 'not appropriate' MORE's administration will push ahead with its pursuit of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending package despite recent hesitations voiced by a key moderate Democrat in the Senate.
"Sen. Manchin is a valued partner. We're going to continue to work with him," Richmond said during an appearance on ABC's "This Week" when asked about a warning from Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden: Negotiating assault weapons ban more difficult than infrastructure, reconciliation deal Biden says expanding Medicare to include hearing, dental and vision a 'reach' Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks MORE (D-W.Va.) that he would not support the package.
"But we're also going to continue to push our agenda. And part of this ... is just the sausage-making process at the end. It just happens. And this is happening in public view," Richmond added. "But it's not abnormal for this to happen in the legislative process. And we're still full steam ahead on trying to get our legislation passed."
While speaking at an event late last week, Manchin said Democrats should hit "pause" on the package, pointing to concerns about what he called "runaway inflation."
"If the country is facing what we're facing now ... I would ask my colleagues and all of the Senate to hit the pause button on the $3.5 [trillion]," Manchin said. "Let’s sit back. Let’s see what happens. We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do."
Manchin added that he expected members of his party would "go nuts right now" in response to his comments.
After Sen. Joe Manchin reveals he will not support Pres. Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package, @Richmond46 tells @GStephanopoulos the administration is still “full steam ahead.”— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 5, 2021
“It's not abnormal for this to happen in the legislative process.” https://t.co/KInxWHwCkT pic.twitter.com/ezJIGO4hd2
Richmond, a former House member and a top aide to Biden on legislative affairs, on Sunday dismissed the notion that it has become more difficult for Biden to get his agenda passed through Congress with majority support.
"I think what really will happen is people will start to realize what we need, the challenges that we're facing. We have to really take an assessment of what the American people are dealing with right now. They're dealing with COVID and the delta variant. They're dealing with Hurricane Ida. They're dealing with a number of things," Richmond said.
"And we're meeting the challenges. And I think people appreciate that. Does it always bear out in poll numbers? Maybe. Maybe not. But I've seen and I've done this a very long time. The leadership that the president is providing is appreciated, will be appreciated more. And you get ups and downs. And we're not worried about poll numbers. We're worried about the 1.2 million people in Louisiana that didn't have electricity. We're worried about the people in New York and New Jersey and Pennsylvania that are going through it," he added.