- The Washington Times
Saturday, December 11, 2021

President Biden will meet with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin next week to talk him into supporting the administration’s $1.9 trillion social spending bill.

Mr. Biden told reporters on Friday that he wasn’t sure if he could convince the moderate Democrat to vote on passing his bill, better known as Build Back Better.

“I don’t know the answer to that,” Mr. Biden said in response to whether he could persuade Mr. Manchin. “I’m going to be talking to him at the beginning of the week.”

The House narrowly passed the bill last month, with Maine Rep. Jared Golden being the sole Democrat to vote against the package.

Mr. Manchin is a key swing vote in the Senate who could derail Democrats’ hopes of passing the bill which would expand the U.S. welfare state. 

The president argued the bill would help reduce inflation, lower prescription drug costs, offer universal pre-K, and expand the child tax credit.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has been in touch “at a staff level” over discussions.

It’s unclear whether Mr. Biden and Mr. Manchin will discuss plans in person or via phone.

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said he wants to see the bill pass by Christmas, but with less than two weeks left in session before the holidays, the timeline seems unlikely.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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