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Biden met moderate U.S. Senate Democrats to discuss $3.5 trln spending bill

EconomySep 15, 2021 10:26PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks at Mather Airport, California, U.S., September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo 2/2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden was meeting separately with moderate Democratic U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on Wednesday to discuss Democratic-backed domestic spending legislation, the White House said.

Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, making Manchin and Sinema critical to the $3.5 trillion bill's prospects.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the purpose of the meetings was to discuss a "path forward" on Biden's proposed legislation.

Sinema spokesman John LaBombard said, "Today's meeting was productive, and Kyrsten is continuing to work in good faith with her colleagues and President Biden as this legislation develops."

LaBombard did not provide details of the conversation.

"Today, the president had productive individual meetings with Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin about his Build Back Better agenda. He is in regular touch with a wide range of House and Senate members and continues to engage with them as we move forward on the reconciliation package so we can deliver for middle class families," a White House official said.

Manchin was scheduled to discuss the wide-ranging spending and tax bill on Wednesday evening, Psaki indicated.

The legislation - opposed by Republicans - aims to supplement a separate bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill and would focus on education, childcare, climate-related projects and other matters.

The meeting comes after Manchin over the weekend said he would not back a $3.5 trillion package and urged a slimmer version, putting him at odds with other Democrats backing the larger bill to tackle the party's major policy goals while they maintain a narrow hold on Congress.

Democrats are steering the legislation through Congress using a special procedure called budget reconciliation. It would allow them to win Senate passage with a simple majority made up of 48 Democrats, the two independents who caucus with them, and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a likely 50-50 tie, thus bypassing Republican opposition.

Under Senate rules, most other legislation needs to win at least 60 votes in the 100-member chamber to advance.

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aiming to hold a vote on the $3.5 trillion package, which could be revised downward, by the end of September and send it to the Senate for consideration.

With a slim Democratic majority in the House, Pelosi will have to satisfy competing demands from the progressive and moderate wings of her party.

Biden met moderate U.S. Senate Democrats to discuss $3.5 trln spending bill
 

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Comments (3)
leehiung chong
leehiung chong Sep 15, 2021 11:48PM ET
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more like rebel democrats.. not really moderate democrats
Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson Sep 15, 2021 11:48PM ET
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Funny the southern states were rebals!
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 15, 2021 10:32AM ET
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Lets talk about extortion
matthew panos
matthew panos Sep 15, 2021 10:24AM ET
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He can threaten Sinema with being primary-ed in ‘24, but not Manchin. WV is solid red and if Dems take out Manchin in primary, a Republican will win his seat. So Manchin can dictate his terms.
carol ruszin
carol ruszin Sep 15, 2021 10:24AM ET
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He is a Republican in Democrat shoes. Need to educate the people of WV that they continue to vote against their own benefits. The poor keep getting poorer.
jonathon blackmon
jonathon blackmon Sep 15, 2021 10:24AM ET
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does not matter west virginia is 5 % black if biden says do not vote for manchin they will listen same with sinema
 
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