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As Dems race forward, Manchin pumps brakes: ‘There is no timeline’

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Democratic leaders and President Joe Biden are speeding up their work on Biden’s massive jobs and families plan. Joe Manchin keeps throttling momentum back.

The president wants Manchin and other holdouts to find a top-line number they are comfortable with for the transformational spending bill that will run into the trillions of dollars, but Manchin isn’t yet ready to give one. His colleagues hope he will single out which provisions in the social spending program that he wants to ax so they can begin negotiating in earnest, but he’s in no rush to do so.

Instead, Manchin sees the current state of spending programs in good shape through the end of the year, when the expiration of the expanded child tax credit could force more action in Congress. And so even as the House looks to vote on a reconciliation bill totaling into the trillions as soon as next week, they are unlikely to have Manchin’s blessing anytime soon.

“What’s the need? There is no timeline. I want to understand it,” Manchin said in an interview on Thursday as he walked to his office. “I don’t think anything runs out. Right now, we’ve got good nutrition for children, a lot of things are covered right now clear [into] next year.”

The idea of a bicameral deal on reconciliation ahead of Monday’s House vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill seems unlikely at best. Democrats need all 50 of their members to vote for a bill in the Senate, which allows Manchin to dictate the pace on a bill expected to raise taxes on the wealthy, expand child care problems, fight climate change and increase access to education.

But even as the West Virginian takes his time, there is good news for........

© Politico

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