Manchin Signals He's Open to Social Spending Bill Vote by Year's End Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks on the phone outside of a lunch meeting with Senate Democrats at the U.S. Capitol November 16, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 17 November 2021 02:23 PM
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on Wednesday indicated he would be open to vote on President Joe Biden's $1.85 trillion social spending and climate legislation by year's end.
The moderate Democrat senator, however, still has not said how he will vote.
Axios, citing sources, reported last week that rising inflation might keep Manchin from giving his vote on the bill until next year. But on Wednesday morning, Manchin sounded more open to voting on the package.
"I'm not in charge of the timing. Whatever they want to do is fine with me. If we're gonna vote, vote," Politico reported.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said Tuesday that Democrats aimed to pass the "Build Back Better" legislation before Christmas, acknowledging another delay in a bill Democrats have struggled for months to finish.
House Democratic leaders are pushing for a vote on the proposed legislation as early as Thursday. Assuming it passes in the House, the bill likely would undergo major changes in the Senate.
Democrats need moderate Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., on board to pass the legislation via reconciliation in a chamber divided evenly along party lines. No Republicans are expected to support it.
That didn't stop former President Donald Trump from issuing a warning Wednesday to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP senators.
"[The infrastructure law] is a disaster for America in that only 11% of the money will be spent on REAL Infrastructure, with most being spent on Green New Deal nonsense, with big tax increases," Trump said in a lengthy statement released by his Save America PAC.
"Its actual cost is over $2 Trillion, but the bigger disaster is yet to come in the next, much larger version of the Green New Deal, which some people say will be $5 Trillion."
The Washington Examiner reported that some House Democrat moderates would like to see the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s final analysis of the cost of the bill before it is considered for a vote. However, that score likely won’t be completed this week.
Reuters contributed to this story.