Schumer: Build Back Better Delayed, 'More Time' Needed : Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) talks to reporters following the weekly Senate Democratic policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on December 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 17 December 2021 12:27 PM
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Friday admitted that President Joe Biden's massive social spending and climate legislation will not pass this year.
Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a key holdout, is concerned about passing the $1.75 trillion package amid rising inflation.
CNN reported Wednesday that Biden and Manchin were "very far apart" on the package as Manchin wants the child tax credit cut from the bill because of the cost.
"The president requested more time to continue his negotiations, and so we will keep working with him, hand in hand, to bring this bill over the finish line and deliver on these much-needed provisions," Schumer said Friday from the Senate floor.
The leader did not mention any timeline for when the 2,000-page plus bill might come up for a vote.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Biden's bill would increase the deficit by $3 trillion over 2022 to 2031.
While Schumer blamed Republicans for not passing Build Back Better, Manchin and fellow moderate Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., remain the key holdouts. Democrats need every member of their Senate caucus on board to pass the bill via reconciliation.
Biden issued a statement Thursday night insisting he and Manchin will find common ground to pass the bill.
"I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition," Biden said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday night that he thinks Biden's massive plan is "dead forever."
"The CBO and the inflation number last Friday, I think, killed Build Back Better," Graham said on Fox News Channel. "They were trying to pass a lie. And God Bless Joe Manchin for sticking to his guns."
Democratic senators said another factor has contributed to the delay — the Senate parliamentarian must finish meeting with both sides to advise on whether the components of the bill meet the Senate’s stringent Byrd rule. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Finance Committee have yet to hold bipartisan staff meetings with the parliamentarian, sources told The Hill.
Schumer has turned his attention to passing a voting rights bill now that Build Back Better has stalled.
"The fight to protect voting rights and restore the United States Senate is moving forward," he said on the floor. "I have continued to have detailed discussions with many of my colleagues about how we’re going to reach out goal of passing voting rights to ensure it takes effect before Americans return to the polls in the next election."