At various times over the past few months, the Democrats’ Build Back Better agenda has seen its ups and downs. When the ambitious legislation was passed by the House shortly before Thanksgiving, for example, and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia appeared to approve the party’s timetable for a Senate vote before Christmas, it emerged that the Bill was on track to be successful.
About 72 hours ago, however, when Manchin announced his opposition to the package, the outlook crumbled.
What was not clear was whether the most conservative Democrat in Congress was saying no to this invoice or say no to any iteration possible of the BBB agenda. Was Manchin’s declaration the last step in the negotiation process or the last step? Were the talks ongoing or have they ended?
As those questions persisted, Senate Democrats held a special conference last night to discuss the party’s plans. From this point yesterday, Manchin wasn’t even sure if he would participate in the debate.
The good news for Democrats is that Manchin has joined the conversation. The best news for Democrats is that the door to Build Back Better is not yet closed. NBC News reported overnight:
Joe Manchin joined his fellow Senate Democrats for a special caucus meeting on Tuesday night on the next steps for the Build Back Better Act, just two days after he said he couldn’t support President Joe Biden’s signing legislation. Several sources familiar with the call confirmed that Manchin, DW.Va., attended.
According to the report, Manchin spoke from the start, reiterated his concerns about the BBB and listened to others tell their story. He also apparently always supports Canceling tax breaks for Republicans under the Trump era, which is a good idea his fellow Democrats would happily endorse – if only Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema would agree.
It was at that same 90-minute meeting last night that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly told his members, â€œI know we are all frustrated with this outcome. However, we are not giving up on BBB. Period. We will not stop. work on it until we pass a bill.
It’s possible the New York Democrat shared wishful thinking. Or maybe he thought some â€œrally the troopsâ€ rhetoric would boost morale during a difficult time. Either way, Schumer didn’t look like a party leader who considers Build Back Better legislation dead.
Hours earlier, President Joe Biden made a similar note, tell reporters, â€œSen. Manchin and I are going to do somethingâ€ on BBB.
Shortly before that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also told reporters, “We will not let this opportunity pass. And we will stand up for this cause and I have confidence that Senator Manchin cares about our country and that at some point, very soon, we can pass the legislation. I am not not discouraged by everything. “
Around the same time, Progressive House Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, who indeed said a day earlier that she had finished speaking to Manchin, contacted West Virginia directly to explore the legislative details. . The Washington Democrat spoke with Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, who said Jayapal “seemed to open the door to a way forward, even if it is a twisted and murky path.”
All of these developments have come on Biden and Manchin’s heels speak directly and agreeing to continue talking about the legislation.
It’s important not to overdo the outlook. I’m not saying BBB is on the right track to be successful. Failure remains a distinct possibility. I say, however, that the odds of success are better than they were 72 hours ago.
Manchin put a decent $ 1.75 trillion plan last week on the table, which the White House did not reject. The negotiations which seemed to have failed are once again underway. If the legislation was patient, it’s fair to say it has a pulse – which was imperceptible on Sunday morning.
As House Democratic Assistant Recount NBC News, “Sometimes things have to explode to get back together.”
Update: Politics reported this morning, “[F]or the first time since Manchin blew it up, we hear hints of optimism from Democratic senators. “