President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE on Tuesday expressed confidence Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Democrats craft billionaire tax with deal in reach Democrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion 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 SchumerSenators weigh future of methane fee in spending bill Biden hopes for deal on economic agenda before Europe trip The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding 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.