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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday that Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin are negotiating in good faith about President Joe Biden's social spending and infrastructure bills.
Democrats are arguing about the size and scope of what was initially proposed as a $3.5 trillion plan to expand the social safety net and fight climate change. Sinema and Manchin, both moderate Democrats, have been pushing for a smaller package and opposed some elements of the bill.
"We believe that Senator Sinema is negotiating in good faith," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. "The president considers Senator Sinema an important partner in getting his economic agenda passed, and he values her work."
Jean-Pierre said Biden's relationship with Manchin was strong and marked with mutual respect.
"They have shared values," she said. "We have been working in good faith with him. He's been working in good faith with us."
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason, Editing by Franklin Paul and Peter Cooney)