Durbin says he supports $3.5T reconciliation bill price tag, but he is a 'realist'

Durbin says he supports $3.5T reconciliation bill price tag, but he is a 'realist'

Democratic Senate Majority 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 (Ill.) said on Sunday that he supports the $3.5 trillion price tag for a spending plan his party hopes to pass through the reconciliation process, but described himself as a "realist" when it comes to negotiations.

"Let me tell you at the outset I support the $3.5 trillion. I believe that the elements of it have been stated over and over again. They're good for this country and they're needed by families and by our nation," Durbin said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"But I'm a realist too," he added. 

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Durbin's comments come as Democrats have yet to reach an agreement about the total amount for their sweeping social spending bill.

While the bill was originally proposed at $3.5 trillion, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBiden faces new pressure from climate groups after Powell pick Five ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one MORE (D-W.Va.) has suggested a $1.5 trillion plan, an amount Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos MORE (D-Wash.) said is too low to accomplish Democratic priorities

During his CNN appearance on Sunday, Durbin recalled the negotiation process for the Affordable Care Act, during which compromises had to be made. 

"I believe those concessions will lead to a different number. I just want to make sure that we come up with the right result," Durbin said. "Not the biggest number but the most effective number to help families and this economy move forward in a responsible way."

Durbin, however, would not specify what that price may end up being. 

"I can't tell you how many times I've been asked 'what's your number?' " he said. "Every vote counts when it comes to getting to this majority, and concessions will be made. We're certain of that."