Pramila Jayapal, a leading House progressive, ha instado Joe Biden to continue focusing on his Build Back Better social spending legislation and to use executive actions as a way to work around public rejection by a key senator, Joe Manchin.
Escritura in the Washington Post, the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said it would soon release a plan for actions including lowering costs, protecting family healthcare and tackling the climate crisis.
“The progressive caucus will continue to work toward legislation for Build Back Better, focused on keeping it as close to the agreed-upon framework as possible,” Jayapal wrote.
Manchin, a centrist Democrat from West Virginia, rejected Build Back Better last Sunday. With the Senate split 50-50, his dramatic move seemed to doom the bill.
It also threatened to scuttle hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for measures to meet climate goals and prompted Goldman Sachs to lower its forecasts for US economic growth.
Manchin has expressed concerns about climate proposals and extensions to monthly child tax credit payments.
“Taking executive action will also make clear to those who hinder Build Back Better that the White House and Democrats will deliver for Americans,” Jayapal wrote.
On Fox News Sunday, the Maryland Democratic senator Ben Cardin was asked about Republican hopes, as voiced by the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, that Manchin might switch parties – a move which would hand the Senate to the GOP. Manchin has said he hopes there’s still room for him in Democratic ranks.
“The Democratic party is proud of having a broad tent,” Cardin said. “We have people with different views.”
Cardin also claimed that under Chuck Schumer, of New York, Democrats had “been able to keep unity among all 50 of the Democratic senators”.
That claim is at least questionable in current circumstances but Cardin also said: “We were able to pass the American Rescue Plan, we were able to deal with the … debt cap in our country, we were able to get a lot of things done.
“There’s absolutely room in our party for Joe Manchin, Elizabeth Warren [a progressive senator from Massachusetts] and everyone in between, with different views, [y] Bernie Sanders.”
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist from Vermont, is an independent but caucuses with the Democrats. He reacted furiously to Manchin’s move last week.
“We were very proud of our caucus,” Cardin insisted, “and the fact that we had diversity in our caucus, and Joe Manchin is very much welcomed in the Democratic party.”
Asked about Manchin’s move against Build Back Better, Vice-President Kamala Harris told CBS’s Face the Nation: “The stakes are too high for this to be, in any way, about any specific individual.”
She also said the White House was not giving up on the legislation.
Republicans are united in opposition to the bill. Schumer has said the chamber will vote on a package in early 2022. The White House has said conversations with Manchin will continue. Biden has said he and Manchin are “going to get something done”.