House Speaker Nancy Pelosi projected confidence Monday, vowing Democrats will not give up on passing the Build Back Better Act, despite Sen. Joe Manchin saying he will not vote for the package in its current form.
At a news conference in San Francisco, the Democrat from California said she believes that Manchin will come around so Democrats can take up the legislation that would enhance the social safety net as well as fight the climate crisis.
“We will not let this opportunity pass,” Pelosi said. “And we will make that case and I have confidence that Senator Manchin cares about our country and that at some point, very soon, we can take up the legislation. I’m not deterred at all.”
Asked if there’s any hope left for Build Back Better, Pelosi said, “We never give up,” and cited letters sent from her as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer committing to getting the legislation passed.
“We will continue to fight to pass the legislation,” Pelosi said. “It must happen and we will do it as soon as we can. There are conversations that are ongoing, but we cannot walk away from this commitment.”
In her remarks at an event to highlight the investments made from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has become law, Pelosi framed the additional social safety net bill as President Joe Biden’s vision.
“This is an initiative that is the vision of President Joe Biden,” Pelosi said, suggesting that Manchin’s rebuttal of this legislation is a rebuke of the President.
“President Biden has said, ‘I want to do everything I can in a bipartisan way to build the infrastructure of our country, but I will not confine my vision for the country,’ ” Pelosi said, explaining Biden’s thinking for why the President has pushed for both pieces of legislation.
“And so we’re working on the BBB, the Build Back Better legislation, to be more transformative as we go forward to save the planet, to lower cost for health care for prescription drugs, lower costs for child care, lower cost in every way, lower taxes for the middle class again, doing so paid for by making people who are wealthy and corporate America to pay their fair share,” Pelosi added. “So that is the context in which all of this taking place today.”
Democrats had initially coupled the bipartisan infrastructure bill with Build Back Better, but eventually allowed the bipartisan infrastructure bill to pass separately, thus launching a lengthy and seemingly dead end path of negotiations on the broader social spending package.
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