Pelosi dismisses Manchin call for 'pause' on $3.5T spending plan

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (D-Calif.) dismissed Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's To reduce poverty, stop burdening the poor: What Joe Manchin gets wrong about the child tax credit Overnight Health Care — Presented by Indivior —Pfizer: COVID-19 vaccine safe for young kids MORE’s (D-W.Va.) call for a “pause” in deliberations on the $3.5 trillion spending package, saying she does not agree with the moderate senator’s recommendation.

Pelosi, when asked on Tuesday for her reaction to Manchin’s call for a pause, said “Well, obviously I don’t agree.”

“I'm pretty excited about where we are. Everybody's working very hard, the committees are doing their work. We’re on a good timetable, and I feel very exhilarated by it,” she added.

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Manchin, during remarks last week at a West Virginia Chamber of Commerce event, pointed to “runaway inflation,” the COVID-19 delta variant and a messy withdrawal from Afghanistan as reasons why his colleagues should “hit the pause button” on pushing through their multitrillion-dollar spending package.

“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.

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“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,” he added.

Democrats are looking to approve the $3.5 trillion spending package through reconciliation, which will allow the Senate to bypass a Republican filibuster and pass the legislation with a simple majority. The legislation is expected to include key party priorities, including expanding Medicaid, combating climate change and addressing immigration reform.

Some Democrats, however — including Manchin — have taken issue with the size of the bill, contending that it carries too large of a price tag.

When asked how high of a price tag she will be able to put on the package considering the opposition from Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaDemocrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration This week: Democrats face mounting headaches MORE (D-Ariz.), Pelosi stuck by the $3.5 trillion figure and told CNN’s Manu Raju, “Well, you have to go talk to the Senate about that.”

“But we’re gonna pay for as much of it as possible. It’ll have far less impact on the national debt than the Republican 2017 tax scam,” she added, referring to the tax cuts Republicans passed in 2017.

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Leadership is hoping to pass the reconciliation package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill — which the Senate approved last month — together, but some Democrats are now muddying those plans, threatening to tank the larger package if the bipartisan bill is not first passed.

When asked if she still expects the bipartisan infrastructure deal to be introduced on the House floor on Sept. 27 even if the reconciliation package does not pass, Pelosi said “that’s the plan.”

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie SandersBernie SandersPelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill topline higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war Congress must address the looming debt crisis MORE (I-Vt.) also weighed in on Manchin's call for a "pause" in negotiations for the reconciliation package, telling The New York Times in an interview over the weekend "You can't slow it down."