Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Monday that the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act needs a “lot of changes” and that he remains skeptical as to whether Democrats can pass the bill before Christmas.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hopes to pass the $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act before Christmas, but the bill may face drastic changes before it could receive Manchin’s support.
Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) support is needed for Schumer to pass the bill through the Senate, as Democrats only have a one-member majority in Congress’s upper chamber.
Manchin signaled that the bill may not pass by Christmas and it needs significant reforms.
“I’m not skeptical. I’m just basically a realist. There’s an awful lot there, and a lot of changes to be done, and you’re throwing it at a time when it’s very vulnerable in our economy,” the West Virginia Democrat said.
Manchin also counter-signaled President Joe Biden’s assertion that the Build Back Better Act would lower inflation.
“I haven’t seen that. I’ve heard that. I don’t, I don’t know how you control inflation when there’s the first year of spending is going to be quite large,” Manchin explained.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other organizations have found that Biden’s landmark legislation would amount to trillions of dollars in spending, especially in the first several years after its enactment.
The CBO said that the bill would cost $750 billion over five years.
The Build Back Better Act also contains many arbitrary policy sunsets that make the bill appear less expensive than the bill’s official price tag of $1.7 trillion.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the legislation would cost $4.91 trillion if many of the policies and programs did not expire.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.