Despite opposition from both sides of the aisle, President Joe Biden continues to push for rapid congressional approval of his massive Build Back Better spending initiative.
As the Washington Examiner reported, however, Democrats are increasingly starting to doubt whether the bill will pass before Christmas as its supporters had hoped.
“It’s going to be close”
Biden responded to one reporter’s question regarding that timeline, to which he replied: “I hope so. It’s going to be close.”
Reports confirm that Biden has been in contact with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in an effort to convince him to support the nearly $2 trillion plan.
For his part, Manchin has expressed skepticism regarding claims that passing such a massive piece of legislation would not negatively impact the economy.
“Inflation is real,” the moderate West Virginia Democrat said on Monday. “It’s not transitory. It’s alarming. It’s going up, not down. And I think that should be something we’re concerned about.”
Of course, Manchin is not the only fellow Democrat under pressure from the Biden administration to fall in line behind the Build Back Better bill.
“Even just to tread water”
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) remains uncommitted, which suggests that Democrats are increasingly worried that the partisan bill will stall in a narrowly divided Senate. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is currently running ads hoping to convince Sinema and Manchin to oppose the initiative.
In a recent Fox News op-ed, former Trump administration adviser Marc Short called on Manchin to act as the decisive vote against the package.
“Just last week, we learned from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the ‘Build Back Better’ spending plan would add $3 trillion to the national debt if the programs were permanently extended as most expect they will,” he wrote.
Short went on to argue that such a massive influx of debt would mean widespread and severe ramifications for the American economy and individual citizens.
Pointing to Manchin’s home state as an example, he made his case, writing: “This year already, West Virginians have effectively lost $1,000 as inflation has eaten away at their paychecks and savings, making it more expensive to buy what they need and even just to tread water.”