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Kaine says core of spending bill will pass but most of it is ‘dead’

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Sunday said he believes the core provisions of the Democrats’ social spending and climate bill will pass, but conceded that the most recent version of the measure is “dead” after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced last month that he opposed the package.

Pressed by moderator Margaret Brennan on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on if the massive spending bill is dead, citing the lack of votes within the Democratic Party, Kaine expressed hope that some provisions will be approved.

“I don’t agree with you Margaret. You’re right that it’s dead, the most recent version of it is not going to happen, but if you look at the core of the bill, I think the core is education and workforce and things like reduce childcare and education expenses, workforce training, and then support for the workforce in areas like health care,” Kaine said.

Kaine expressed optimism that the Senate will pass a version of the bill that will in turn help curb inflation concerns, especially after the Labor Department revealed on Wednesday that consumer prices increased by 7 percent in the year ending in December, the highest level since 1982.

“There are other pieces of the bill that are more controversial. I still believe we’re gonna find a core of this bill, whatever we call it, we’re going to find a core of the bill and pass it and it will deal directly with some of these inflation concerns,” he said.

Democrats’ hopes of passing their roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill, known as the Build Back Better Act, were dampened last month when Manchin announced that he would not vote for the legislation after months of negotiations between White House officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Days later, members of the party started looking for ways to compromise with the West Virginia Democrat and cobble together provisions that he could support. The Senate Democratic caucus is looking to pass the package through budget reconciliation, which means all 50 members must be on board for it to be approved.

Later in the interview on Sunday, Kaine reiterated the need to pass some version of the spending package.

“I think we have to go into that Build back Better bill and do the core provisions that reduce costs for Americans in these key areas.,” he said.

“If we do that will speak to their inflation concern, we’ll help people out in every zip code in this country. I think we’ve got to do that,” he added.

Tags Joe Manchin Tim Kaine

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