News Update

White House plans to restart talks with Manchin

The White House intends to restart talks with Sen. Joe Manchin on President Biden’s social safety net package, hoping to try a new tack in negotiations, as the Wall Street Journal reported, even as some  Democrats push for passing key pieces of the agenda instead. 

The West Virginia Democrat rejected the roughly $2 trillion proposal in December, saying it was too costly, after months of intense media coverage of his negotiations with party leadership. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona, also raised concerns about portions of the “Build Back Better” package, and the White House hasn’t yet specified how it might seek to alter the package to win their support.

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren has said she is open to breaking up the Build Back Better bill to increase its chances of passing in the closely divided Senate, as CBS reported.  

“I’m open to whatever is going to get us across the finish line knowing we’re not going to get one single Republican to lower the price of prescription drugs, not one to give us universal child care, not one who’s going to say that these corporations that make billions in profits are going to not get away any longer with paying zero in taxes. We’ve got all those in Build Back Better. We just need to get what we can across the finish line,” she said on Tuesday.  

The expanded child tax credit was among the programs Warren singled out that needed to be passed. The program, which impacted roughly 36 million families, just expired.

Experts say it successfully lifted many children out of poverty. In California, for example, continuing the benefit has cut child poverty from 20% to 13.7% and kept more than 600,000 kids above the poverty line, according to a study by the Urban Institute.