Pelosi says “there’s an agreement to be reached” with Manchin on Build Back Better

Washington – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that she believes agreement can still be reached with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin on President Biden’s $ 1.75 trillion social spending plan after he negotiations were frozen last month.

In an interview with “Face the Nation,” Pelosi said she has spoken to Manchin “over time” and believes there is still a chance for Congress to bring the bill to Biden’s desk.

“I believe that an agreement must be reached,” said the Speaker of the House. “It is very important for our country.”

Manchin drew his support for Biden’s $ 1.75 trillion tax and spending plan in December due to concerns about inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic and the national debt, which dealt a near fatal blow to the package, which is a mainstay key to the president’s internal politics. schedule.

The Democratic senator has been at the heart of discussions on the proposal, which includes Democrats’ plans to combat climate change, provide paid family and medical leave, expand health care coverage under the Health Care Act to Low Price and offer universal pre-K.

A version of Mr. Biden’s pack passed the house in November, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer set a goal in late December to clear the Senate. But as negotiations between Manchin and the White House began to decompose Just before the Christmas break over the measure, particularly regarding the expanded child tax credit, Senate Democrats shifted their focus to voting rights legislation.

Pelosi said last month that Democratic leaders still have “hope” that members can reach an agreement on the pending social plan that would lead to its approval.

While reiterating on Sunday her belief that the White House and Manchin could bridge their divisions over the president’s proposal, Pelosi said the order of legislative elements currently being followed in the Senate – voting rights first, followed by the national policy plan – is “very appropriate.”

“There is nothing more important to us than protecting our Constitution and our democracy,” he said. “What Republicans are doing across the country is really a legislative continuation of what they did on January 6, which is to undermine our democracy, undermine the integrity of our elections, undermine voting power, which is the essence of a democracy”. . “

“We have to do that bill,” Pelosi continued. “There is no more important bill that allows us to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Still, the margins in the evenly divided Senate make it impossible for voting rights legislation, as currently constructed, to reach Mr. Biden’s desk for signature. Senate Republicans have in numerous occasions blocked the advance of legislation that would reform the nation’s electoral laws, which requires 60 votes, and Schumer last week poured cold water on the possibility of making changes to the Electoral Counting Law, which some legislators suggested could be updated, rather than broader legislation on the right to vote.

However, Pelosi said Democrats “have to keep working” to get voting rights legislation passed by both houses of Congress.

“They are not only suppressing the vote, suppressing the vote, they are annulling elections, saying that it does not matter who gets the most votes, it matters who the three we appoint to analyze that, what they decide,” he said. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

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