Democrats Scale Back Ambitious Social Safety Net Bill
After the Democrats failed to get enough votes to change the filibuster to pass voting reform and approve President Joe Biden‘s $1.7 trillion Build Back Better social spending bill, Democrats in Congress want to focus on passing a bill backed with some GOP support.
BBB is undergoing major changes to satisfy centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and the President said that he’s willing to sign off on whatever “chunks” of the bill can get through the Senate.
“What the president calls ‘chunks’ I would hope would be a major bill going forward. It may be more limited, but it is still significant,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said.
Manchin said he wants to rip up the bill and start over, but some Democrats insist that most of the bill can still be saved.
“There are some clean energy tax provisions that it’s my understanding Sen. Manchin has always supported that would make a huge difference in terms of the competitiveness of our economy and accelerate clean energy technology deployment,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware). “I think it would be great if we can move that.”
Other liberal senators think their party should focus on other bills altogether.
“My advice to leadership is to find those things where we really have a solid amount of momentum, where you clearly have 10 or more Republicans,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico).
Heinrich is working on a bill to protect wildlife. It has numerous GOP supporters.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) disagrees. He feels that the Democrats should keep pushing bills even if they don’t succeed.
There are other bills that could come to vote that are likely to garner enough votes to pass. Some of these bills include a bill focusing on competition with China and a funding package that may provide disaster and pandemic support.