House Democrats dig their heels in after Manchin outburst as Biden agenda remains in jeopardy

‘I support the notion that we need an ironclad agreement,’ says House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Tuesday 02 November 2021 16:07
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Manchin tells Democrats to ‘stop playing games’ with Biden agenda

House Democrats are digging in their heels on requiring support from all 50 Democratic senators for President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better Act before they’ll vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has already passed the Senate.

Speaking at his weekly post-caucus meeting press conference, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries said he hopes that the House will “be in a position” to vote on both measures “at some point this week,” but stressed that a commitment from all Democratic senators — including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin — would be needed before anything reaches the House floor.

“I believe that we need an ironclad commitment as it relates to a framework around the build back better and that all 50 senators will support,” said Mr Jeffries. “I think that’s been an understanding as we proceeded from the very beginning — President Biden has laid that out, Speaker Pelosi has laid that out — I support the notion that we need an ironclad agreement”.

Mr Manchin, a moderate Democrat whose opposition to his party’s proposals for paid family leave and some climate measures has raised the hackles of House Progressive Caucus members, said on Monday that he wanted more information on the plan’s full impact on the economy before he’d support it.

But Mr Jeffries stressed that he believes Mr Manchin and other Democrats in the upper chamber are operating on the level.

“The Senate is the Senate, and it’s the price that we pay for the democracy that we have in America. I take every single senator in good faith in terms of comments that they put into the public domain. I also believe that all 50 of them do want to get the Build Back Better act over the finish line and I remain convinced of that,” he said. “When there’s an ironclad agreement, we’ll go to the floor”.

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