For much of the last year, President Joe Biden has been working to advance his massive $3.5 trillion spending proposal on Capitol Hill — but thus far, he seems to be falling short of expectations.
While it’s no surprise that the president has received pushback from Republicans on the pricey plan, Breitbart reports that Biden is also on shaky ground with members of his own party, including one key senator whose opposition could derail the proposal altogether.
Last week, Breitbart cited a report from Axios that revealed Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is continuing to express skepticism over the multitrillion-dollar plan.
Biden comes up short
Citing sources with knowledge of the conversation, Axios said the moderate West Virginia Democrat met with Biden at the White House, where the president was said to have tried but failed to convince Manchin to get on board with the spending package.
Manchin is said to have left the meeting on good terms with his party’s leader and pledged that he would “keep talking” about the proposal. But that’s far from a promise of support.
Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates told Axios that he would not “discuss the contents of private meetings,” but said Manchin is considered by the administration to be an “important partner.”
For his part, Manchin has signaled that he would be more likely to get behind a significantly scaled-down version of the bill.
Axios reported last Tuesday that the senator “privately warned the White House and congressional leaders that he has specific policy concerns with President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social spending dream — and he’ll support as little as $1 trillion of it.”
“A disastrous future”
According to Axios, “sources familiar with the discussions” have said Manchin would “at most” be “open to supporting $1.5 trillion” worth of spending.
That report comes on the heels of an op-ed Manchin wrote for the Wall Street Journal earlier this month in which he warned of the inflationary danger that comes with overspending.
“While my fellow Democrats will disagree, I believe that spending trillions more dollars not only ignores present economic reality but makes it certain that America will be fiscally weakened when it faces a future recession or national emergency,” the senator wrote.
“Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices,” he added, “will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.”