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Biden officially acknowledges Build Back Better will miss deadline but says he’s “determined” to see bill in Senate “as soon as possible”

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“My team and I have ongoing discussions with Senator Manchin; this work will continue next week,” Biden said in the statement. “It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare for legislative changes and complete all parliamentary and procedural steps necessary to allow a vote in the Senate. We will move this work forward together in the days and weeks to come; Leader Schumer and I are determined to see the successful bill on the ground as soon as possible. “

Biden, however, reiterated that he still believes the bill will pass – and more importantly, that Manchin had indicated in their recent discussions that he supported the broad outline of the proposal.

“Senator Manchin reiterated his support for funding Build Back Better at the master plan level that I announced in September,” Biden said. “I believe we will bridge our differences and move the Build Back Better plan forward, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition.”

Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, pushed for the spending bill to pass by Christmas. But the party faces obstacles from Manchin, whose support for the legislation is key to its passage.

CNN reported on Wednesday that critical talks between Biden and Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat and the Senate’s most important landmark vote, over how to pass the package fell short of any resolution on a range of issues, according to several sources familiar with the discussions.

A source familiar with the conversations told CNN that discussions between the two over the bill were “very distant.” Given the state of the talks, sources familiar with the matter said Schumer was very likely to push back the bill until 2022.

CNN also reported earlier this week that Democrats have not completed the legislation, are still in a series of meetings with the Senate parliamentarian to see if the bill complies with Senate rules and are still negotiating items. of their own bill, with strong disagreements brewing. their ranks on how to handle key provisions.

One of the most critical issues holding back progress is the child tax credit, a top Democratic Party priority that provides support to families and is key to the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce child poverty. children. Manchin wants to remove the expanded child tax credit from the bill, a source telling CNN he wanted to “remove” it.

After hearing from Democrats in the Senate on Thursday, Manchin told CNN he felt no pressure from his colleagues over his stance on the child tax credit.

“Nobody is pressuring me,” he said. “I’m from West Virginia.”

Manchin told Biden that the one-year tax credit does not reflect the actual costs of the bill, as the benefit is likely to be continually extended. If Democrats want to include it in the bill, he has suggested it should be a 10-year extension, although that would skyrocket the cost of the plan, which Manchin wants to keep at $ 1.75 trillion.

This story was updated with additional details on Thursday.

CNN’s Devan Cole, Manu Raju, Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed to this report.


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