Joe Manchin Hopes to Pass $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill ‘by the End of the Week’

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks to the Economic Club, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Tuesday he hopes the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” infrastructure bill will pass the House by the end of this week.

“I would like to hope it passes Wednesday evening,” Manchin said, and noted to reporters President Biden needs a win with New Jersey and Virginia holding gubernatorial elections this coming Tuesday. “By the end of the week,” Manchin said as a last resort.

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 20: President Joe Biden speaks at an event at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton on October 20, 2021 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. In an effort to appease West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the President has discussed a $1.75 to $1.9 trillion price tag for the spending package that's currently being negotiated. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden speaks at an event at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton on October 20, 2021 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“We’re all negotiating, I think, in good faith. You have to keep all options open, or you’re not being fair with the other side. I think 1.5 was more than fair, since we just did 1.9 [and] another 1.2,” Manchin said in reference to the $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed in March and the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” infrastructure bill that passed the Senate and is waiting for the House’s approval.

Manchin in his statement noted the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package should be cut down to $1.5 trillion, a position Manchin has taken since the summer. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and far-left House members’ topline number for the package remains at $3.5 trillion.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., finishes a news conference as Democrats work on a way to lift the debt limit and find a way to pass President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Sanders was critical of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, a key holdout vote on the Biden overhaul. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., finishes a news conference as Democrats work on a way to lift the debt limit and find a way to pass President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Sanders was critical of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, a key holdout vote on the Biden overhaul. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The two sides have been negotiating on the package since the spring, cutting some welfare programs while keeping others to reduce the overall price tag. Yet it seems Manchin will not budge from his $1.5 trillion position.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who also opposes the topline number of $3.5 trillion, has not negotiated in the media with the far left and as a result her position is less clear. Media speculation indicates Sinema opposes a few of the tax increases the package contains.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Chris Magnus to be the next U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rod Lamkey/Pool via AP)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Chris Magnus to be the next U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rod Lamkey/Pool via AP)

Sinema’s opposition to tax increases, however, has reportedly caused House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richie Neal (D-MA) to put forth a new tax design in hopes of attracting congressional support.

The new idea is a wealth tax applied to assets that increase in value but have not been sold. “Everybody knows what the plan is going forward …  [O]ur plan looks better every day,” he told reporters. It is not known how Sinema views the latest attempt to win her vote.

The Associated Press

In this Sept. 9, 2021 photo, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., presides over a markup hearing to craft the Democrats’ Build Back Better Act, massive legislation that is a cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

As the Democrat infighting continues, Punchbowl News reported Monday that “Pelosi and other Democratic leaders hope they can release a reconciliation framework to give themselves the political space needed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill before President Joe Biden leaves for Europe.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) endless optimism was squelched Monday night by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who signaled she would continue to stall Biden’s the largest welfare spending measures unless her demands are met.

Jayapal wants the reconciliation package fully written instead of the using a loose framing of the package in order to move the $1.2 trillion bill forward in the House.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø

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