Joe Biden Seems Confident He Can Cut A Deal With Joe Manchin

Joe Biden Seems Confident He Can Cut A Deal With Joe Manchin
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  • Joe Manchin
    United States Senator from West Virginia
  • Joe Biden
    Joe Biden
    46th and current president of the United States

President Joe Biden sounded confident Tuesday about the prospect of reaching a deal with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) over his stalled Build Back Better agenda.

“Senator Manchin and I are going to get something done,” Biden said in response to a reporter who asked if the West Virginia senator had broken his commitment on passing the bill into law.

It remains to be seen, however, if the renewed efforts to bring Manchin along can repair any of the strained relationships within the party.

Over the weekend, Manchin announced that he couldn’t support the $1.75 trillion social spending and climate package the House has passed, dealing a huge blow to Biden’s top legislative priority. The White House subsequently issued a scathing statement accusing the senator of essentially breaking his word to Biden on commitments he’d made to support a framework for the bill.

Progressive Democrats in the House followed suit, blasting Manchin for his “lack of integrity” in his conversations with the president.

Manchin responded in kind, pinning the blame in part on “staff-driven” White House leaks that he felt disrespected him.

“It’s not the president, it’s his staff,” Manchin said in a radio interview on Monday. “They put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable. They know what it is and that’s it.”

The West Virginia Democrat added that pressure campaigns won’t work against him.

“I’m not from where they’re from, and they can’t just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive,” he said.

It’s difficult to see how Democrats can get Manchin’s vote without a major overhaul of the Build Back Better Act, which includes monthly payments to parents, child care funding, health care subsidies and a significant investment to fight climate change.

Manchin has repeatedly complained about the budget maneuvers Democrats have used to get a lower cost estimate for the bill. He is also adamantly opposed to expanding the child tax credit, which has cut child poverty dramatically across the country and which Democrats want to extend for another year.

But in comments to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Biden seemed optimistic about a path forward to some kind of agreement.

“Some people think maybe I’m not Irish because I don’t hold a grudge,” he said, retelling a favorite joke. “But I want to get things. I still think there’s a possibility.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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