Manchin signals he'll support $1.75T price tag for spending plan

Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinKlobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill MORE (D-W.Va.) signaled on Thursday that he could support the $1.75 trillion price tag for Democrats' social spending plan, even as he hasn't said if he supports the overall framework deal. 

"We negotiated a good number that we worked off of, and we're all dealing in a good faith," Manchin told reporters. 

Asked if $1.75 trillion was too high, Manchin replied: "That was negotiated." 

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Manchin's comments are his first indication that he supports a $1.75 trillion top line — the size of the framework deal that Biden announced. Democrats are proposing paying for their plan, in part, with tax increases focused on high-income households and corporations. 

The top line is dramatically smaller than the $3.5 trillion spending ceiling that Democrats paved the way for with a budget resolution earlier this year that teed up the spending deal. Progressives had hoped for a $6 trillion bill.  

But Manchin's preferred price tag has been substantially smaller. Manchin had said for weeks that he was at $1.5 trillion. Biden then threw out a top line of around $2 trillion, and Democrats over the past week said they hoped to get Manchin to come up to between $1.7 trillion and $2 trillion. 

Manchin's suggestion that he helped negotiate the $1.75 trillion top line for the deal on the spending framework comes as he sidestepped several times on Thursday saying if he supports the framework.  

“This is all in the hands of the House right now. I’ve worked in good faith and I look forward to continuing to work in good faith and that’s all I’m going to say,” Manchin told reporters earlier Thursday.

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Manchin has been at the center of a lobbying storm as Democrats try to lock down his support for different provisions of the spending framework. 

During a vote on Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenLobbyists turn to infrastructure law's implementation Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos Overnight Energy & Environment — House passes giant climate, social policy bill MORE (D-Ore.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperFive ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan Advocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos MORE (D-Del.), Senate Democratic Whip Dick DurbinDick DurbinGraham emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Bipartisan senators press FBI, inspector general for changes following Nassar case MORE (D-Ill.), Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Schumer mourns death of 'amazing' father Feehery: The honest contrarian MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Angus KingAngus KingAmazon, Facebook, other large firms would pay more under proposed minimum tax, Warren's office says Senators look to defense bill to move cybersecurity measures Energy information chief blames market for high fuel prices MORE (I-Maine) stopped Manchin to speak with him. 

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandKlobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Five ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (D-N.Y.), who is also trying to get Manchin's support for including a paid family leave plan in the package, was also spotted lobbying him on the Senate floor. 

Even as Manchin hasn't said whether he supports the framework, some of his Democratic colleagues told reporters on Thursday that they believe it has the backing of all 50 Senate Democrats. 

“It's clear that they back this plan," Sen. Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenators: US allies concerned Senate won't pass annual defense bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay Can America prevent a global warming cold war? MORE (D-Del.) told reporters about Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Pragmatic bipartisanship – not hard left intolerance – is Democrats' surest path back to power MORE (D-Ariz.), adding that he had spoken to both of them. 

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos Senate advances defense bill after delay Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Senators to take up defense bill Wednesday MORE (D-Va.) added that he also believed there were 50 votes for the framework deal. 

"Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE would not have announced this deal and put Sens. [Sinema] and Manchin’s name in the first paragraph of the announcement unless he felt a high degree of confidence," Kaine said.