CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Neither U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., nor President Joe Biden provided details about a phone call between the two following the conversation Monday, but both sides said they will continue discussions related to the president’s domestic policy proposal in the ensuing days.
Democrats need Manchin on board to get the $1.7 trillion bill through the split Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has expressed his want in passing a proposal by Christmas.
“Senator Manchin and President Biden had a productive conversation this afternoon. They will continue to talk over the coming days,” Manchin communications director Sam Runyon said.
Manchin has raised concerns with the proposal, including its price tag and provisions; the senator criticized the previous $3.5 trillion cost and has shared opposition about language related to climate change and paid family leave.
During an interview last week with MetroNews, Manchin said he wants to review the legislative text of the domestic policy proposal before announcing his stance.
“Nothing’s changed,” he said while sitting in his Capitol Hill office regarding progress on the legislation.
“I hope they think and understand now that I’m consistent and not just jumping on board, back-and-forth,” he added. “I just want to fix it so it works, and if I can’t explain it, I can’t vote for it.”
Manchin has repeatedly noted concerns about how the measure could impact the national debt and inflation. The senator has mentioned a desire to include language on deficit reduction.
“That’s all you have up here, your word and your consistency,” he said last week. “I just tell people I haven’t made a decision yet. I haven’t seen all the content. And how can you say you’ve made a complete decision that you’re going to be supporting something when you don’t know what is going to be in it yet?”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said ahead of Monday’s phone call that White House staff and Manchin have been in touch over several weeks about the proposal. She additionally stated the Biden administration supports Schumer’s efforts related to getting the Senate to pass the plan.