President Joe Biden has flatly rejected the idea of cutting his social and climate spending program by about $2 trillion to ensure its passage through a recalcitrant Senate.
“No,” Biden told reporters Wednesday during his second standalone White House press conference.
But he added he was “confident we can get pieces, big pieces of the Build Back Better Act into law”, saying he hadn’t promised too much.
“I think we can split the pack, get as much as we can now, and come back and fight for the rest later,” he said.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin thwarted Biden’s spending proposal, a version of which was approved by the House, when he declined to back it last month. Biden then pivoted to voting and election reforms, which were separately killed by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who does not approve of changing Senate rules so lawmakers can put legislation back in office. Biden.
Biden opened his press conference with a 10-minute speech, in which he spoke of “a year of challenges but also a year of tremendous progress.” He notably spoke of the “frustration and fatigue” in the face of the pandemic.
“Some people may call what’s happening right now the new normal. I call it work that’s not done yet,” he said. “It will get better. We are heading towards a time when COVID-19 will not disrupt our daily lives.”
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