Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is targeting the week of Dec. 13 for a vote on President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social spending bill — a timeline many deem wildly ambitious due to concerns raised by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), sources told The Post Tuesday.
“We had a good meeting with Senator Manchin today,” Schumer told reporters Tuesday. “We mainly talked about climate issues, and we’re going to get this bill done with 50 Democrats before Christmas. That’s our goal.”
But while the majority leader is hoping to act quickly on the measure, insiders say Manchin’s objections to specific provisions in the House-passed bill — as well as its potential impact on inflation — could sink Schumer’s plan.
One senior Democratic source indicated the Senate could even be called back into session after Christmas to continue its work.
With the Senate evenly divided, Democratic leaders have to keep every one of their members on board with the bill to ensure it passes via the reconciliation process — which allows them to bypass the 60-vote legislative filibuster.
“I think we all know the situation we’re in. We all know that it would only take one Democrat to tank it,” Schumer said Tuesday.
A day earlier, Manchin had tamped down expectations the bill would be passed by Christmas, calling on his colleagues to take their time and thoroughly go over the House-passed legislation.
“I think what we need to do is just really look at the bill, what we have right now, what came from the House and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Manchin told reporters.
During his Tuesday meeting with Schumer, Manchin laid out his concerns about climate provisions in the measure, having previously voiced reservations over language pertaining to methane emissions fees.
“The different energy stuff is what we mostly talked about. Just basically looking at different things that we agree on and adjustments that need to be made,” Manchin said following the meeting, adding that he and Schumer are “working on” potential changes.
On Monday, Manchin also said he would not commit to voting in favor of bringing the bill up for debate on the Senate floor. While the failure of a test vote would not kill the measure, it would be a source of embarrassment for Schumer and hearten Republicans who have invested their hopes of blocking the bill with Manchin and fellow moderate Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
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