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Manchin backs as little as one-third of Biden admin's proposed $3.5 trillion spending plan

The president says he remains hopeful that the White House will be able to reach a deal with the West Virginia Democrat

Updated: September 8, 2021 - 7:40am

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has reportedly issued private warnings to the White House and party leaders of Congress that he does not support the vast majority of President Biden's mammoth $3.5 trillion spending plan.

According to Axios, Manchin is prepared to support just $1.5 trillion of the proposed spending measures in the package. As has been the case for the entirety of this Congress, Manchin's vote in the 50-50 split Senate is crucial for agenda items backed solely by members of his party.

The $3.5 trillion plan includes a number of progressive policy initiatives that comprise the bulk of Biden's "Build Back Better" agenda, including free community college, a significant plan to spend on home caregivers, and proposals including universal preschool and child care tax credits. 

Last week, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Manchin, a moderate Democrat in a conservative state, wrote that he will not, at present, support a $3.5 trillion spending package due to the rising cost of inflation and the potential that trillions more will need to be spent should the pandemic see new heights. 

Publicly, Biden has said he is expecting Manchin to vote with his party at the end of the day.

"He's always been with me. I think we can work something out. I look forward to speaking with him," Biden said Tuesday about his former Senate colleague..

Right now, the House and Senate are working to draw up specific legislation to spend the proposed $3.5 trillion – they have until Sept. 15 to do so. 

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