Equilibrium & Sustainability

Manchin undecided on helping start debate on Biden spending bill

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) speaks to reporters prior to a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.
Julia Nikhinson

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on Thursday that he’s undecided on helping start debate on President Biden’s spending and climate plan — an initial hurdle that Democrats will need total unity on.

“No, no, I’m still looking at everything,” Manchin told reporters, asked if he had made a decision on voting to start debate on the bill.

“When the final bill comes out, when the CBO score comes out, then we’ll go from there,” Manchin added, referring to the Congressional Budget Office.

House Democrats want to pass the climate and social spending bill this week, and Senate Democrats are hoping to pass it by the end of the year.

To bring the bill to the Senate floor, Democrats are expected to need total unity from their caucus and Vice President Harris to break a tie.

Voting to start debate isn’t a guarantee of how a senator will vote on passing the bill itself, and Manchin isn’t the only Democrat who is undecided on Biden’s spending plan.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) hasn’t said how she will vote, and other Democratic senators acknowledged they haven’t read the bill that’s being voted on in the House yet.

Manchin said on Thursday that he wasn’t going to be influenced by the House, adding: “No, not at all.”

Tags Build Back Better Climate change Joe Biden Joe Manchin Kyrsten Sinema

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