Schumer: Democrats will not give up on Build Back Better in new year
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday said Democrats will not give up on the Build Back Better Act in the new year, one day after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he will not vote for the massive social spending and climate package that is key to President Biden’s legislative agenda.
Schumer, in a “Dear Colleague” letter, said the Senate will “consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.”
He said the upper chamber will hold a vote on the revised version of the House-passed package and will “keep voting on it until we get something done.”
“Neither that delay, nor other recent pronouncements, will deter us from continuing to try to find a way forward,” Schumer wrote, referring to Manchin’s opposition to the bill, which effectively crushed the party’s chances of approving the spending package.
“We simply cannot give up. We must and we will keep fighting to deliver for working families,” he added.
Manchin, a moderate member of the Senate Democratic caucus, sent shock waves through the political world on Sunday when he revealed after months of negotiations with the White House and colleagues on Capitol Hill that he will not support the party’s roughly $2 trillion bill.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
“This is a ‘no’ on this legislation,” added.
Manchin’s opposition angered his fellow Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House. White House press secretary Jen Psaki sent out a blistering statement shortly after Manchin’s interview accusing the West Virginia Democrat of going back on his word.
Schumer, in his “Dear Colleague” letter on Monday, mentioned Manchin by name, saying that he was the cause of some frustration within the Senate Democratic caucus.
“This session has also led to moments of deep discontent and frustration. That frustration was evident in the past week as nearly all of us were disappointed by the decision to delay floor consideration of the Build Back Better Act because Senator Manchin could not come to an agreement with the president,” Schumer wrote.
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