President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE on Tuesday expressed confidence Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDemocrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles House Democrat says she won't support reconciliation bill 'at this early stage' MORE (D-W.Va.) will get on board with Democrats' plans for a multitrillion-dollar reconciliation bill after the centrist senator called for lawmakers to hit "pause" on the package.
"Joe at the end has always been there. He's always been with me. I think we can work something out. I look forward to speaking with him," Biden told reporters after returning from touring storm damage in New Jersey and New York.
Asked about the timing of the reconciliation bill moving forward given the administration's new push for supplemental funding for Afghan refugees and storm recovery, Biden said he's "comfortable proceeding the way we've proceeded so far."
Manchin, during remarks last week at a West Virginia Chamber of Commerce event, pointed to concerns about “runaway inflation,” the delta variant of the coronavirus and a botched withdrawal from Afghanistan to float slowing down Democrats' plans for a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that contains Biden's priorities on health care, child care and climate change.
"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 at the event. "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."
Democrats are negotiating and drafting the $3.5 trillion bill, which would require the support of all 50 of the party's senators to pass. Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCEOs urge Congress to raise debt limit or risk 'avoidable crisis' If .5 trillion 'infrastructure' bill fails, it's bye-bye for an increasingly unpopular Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails MORE (D-N.Y.) has given Senate committees until Sept. 15 to finalize their parts of the package so discussions can take place among the rest of the caucus.
Congressional Democratic leaders are also navigating how to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill alongside the reconciliation package. Progressives have called to prioritize the partisan reconciliation package, while moderate members of the party have urged the House to move forward with the bipartisan bill first.