(DCWatchdog.com) – Despite Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) mentioning to reporters that he was not currently negotiating with President Joe Biden about the Build Back Better plan, Senate Democratic leaders are still hopeful that negotiations will resume.
A report by The Hill revealed that in a virtual meeting, Senate Democrats decided to cease from the heated debate to give Manchin space to resume negotiations after Manchin revealed on “Fox News Sunday” that he would not be voting in favor of the bill.
Speaking to Bret Baier, Manchin remarked that the BBB bill was a “mammoth piece of legislation,” adding that he had reservations from the beginning. He followed his comments by saying that he was trying to make the numbers work in an attempt to achieve a compromise.
In the interview, Manchin explained that if he couldn’t explain the bill to the “people of West Virginia,” he couldn’t vote for the piece of legislation. These comments –– which came amid Manchin negotiating with others in the Biden administration –– destroyed the potential of Build Back Better legislation passing through the Senate.
Following his comments, Democrats planned to quietly resume negotiations with Manchin, this time with President Biden’s direct involvement, believing that taking BBB out of the limelight would benefit negotiations.
Yet, despite Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer revealing that he expected the Biden administration and Manchin to resume negotiations, Manchin revealed in an informal briefing with reporters that he would not be discussing BBB as there were no ongoing negotiations.
This is in line with remarks made by Dick Durbin, Senate Majority Whip. They said that Democrats wouldn’t be resuming negotiations on Biden’s BBB until they had addressed voting rights, with a deadline set for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.