Biden to meet with Sinema, Manchin on Tuesday
Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are expected to meet with President Biden at the White House on Tuesday as administration officials and congressional Democrats seek a path forward on the president’s economic agenda.
The two senators will meet with Biden separately, a source familiar with the plans said. Manchin and an aide confirmed the West Virginia senator would head to the White House later Tuesday.
The meetings mark the third time in as many weeks the two key centrist Democrats will visit the White House to discuss Biden’s agenda. Both Sinema and Manchin have raised concerns about the size of a proposed $3.5 trillion spending package put forward by Biden and other Democrats.
But the two have frustrated progressives, in particular, as they have largely stopped short of articulating what specifically they want to see in the reconciliation package, which Democrats hope to pass without Republican support. Sinema gave an interview to an Arizona news outlet in which she talked about the urgent need to address climate change.
Manchin, meanwhile, threw cold water on the prospects of getting the reconciliation bill done in time for a planned Thursday House vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill that already passed the Senate.
Democratic leaders are seeking to thread the needle between satisfying moderates, who want to see the bipartisan infrastructure bill pass the House as soon as possible, and appeasing progressives, who want to see the party prioritize the sweeping reconciliation package that includes funding for child care, health care and climate initiatives.
Biden spoke on Monday night with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about the ongoing talks.
“They agreed on the need to continue work on advancing the two pieces of legislation that represent the President’s vision for creating jobs, growing the economy, and making investments in families—instead of failed giveaways to the rich and big corporations,” the White House said in a readout of the call. “They will continue their close coordination over the coming days.”