Manchin meeting with Biden, Schumer in Delaware

Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) arrives for a press conference after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, October 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware to discuss the Democrats’ spending bill, a person familiar confirmed to The Hill.

The three are seeking to make inroads on the framework of the reconciliation package, according to multiple reports. Democrats are trying to determine what aspects of the reconciliation package will remain, be amended or removed as moderates and Democrats seek to come to a resolution over the top-line figure of the package.

The package, which previous sat at $3.5 trillion, is now reportedly in the $2 trillion range. Manchin said in late September that his top-line spending figure for the reconciliation package was at $1.5 trillion, however earlier this month he said that he would be open to a figure between $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion.

The White House issued a readout of the breakfast meeting Sunday evening, calling the huddle between the top Democrats “a productive discussion.”

“This morning, the President hosted Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin for breakfast at his home in Wilmington for what was a productive discussion about the Build Back Better Agenda, including equipping Americans to get back to work and making our economy deliver for the middle class — not just those at the top,” the readout said.

“They continued to make progress, will have their staffs work on follow-ups from the meeting, and agreed to stay in close touch with each other and the wide range of members who have worked hard on these negotiations,” it added.

The Clean Electricity Performance Program, which incentivizes utilities to use clean energy sources, is now out of the package after Manchin expressed he would not support it. Other elements such as tuition-free community college and affordable housing look like they may be pulled out or significantly reduced in funding. 

Biden earlier last week met with Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) over the spending bill and later with progressives in an attempt to provide momentum on getting the legislation passed. Biden is seeking to have the reconciliation package passed before he and others head to Glasgow for the U.N. climate summit, which starts later this month.

Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressed optimism on Friday after having breakfast with Biden at the White House that Democrats were moving close to nailing a deal on the spending package. Schumer attended that meeting remotely.

“We had a very positive meeting this morning; I’m very optimistic,” Pelosi said. “It’s exciting, because whatever it is, it’s going to be bigger than anything we’ve ever done for the American people.”  

The Hill has reached out to the White House and Manchin’s office for comment on Sunday’s meeting.

–Updated at 9:07 a.m.

Tags Charles Schumer Charles Schumer Chuck Schumer Joe Biden Joe Biden Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema

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