WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Manchin cast doubt on the timeline for pushing President Joe Biden’s economic agenda through Congress, suggesting that a late September target for a House vote is unrealistic.
Manchin, a Democrat whose vote is crucial in the evenly split Senate, reiterated objections to a $3.5 trillion plan that includes tax hikes and increases in social spending, saying he doesn’t see the urgency and is concerned in part about its effect on inflation.
With House Democrats seeking to move the package forward in tandem with a bipartisan $550 billion infrastructure bill that has passed the Senate, the West Virginia senator suggested he doesn’t see the lower chamber meeting a Sept. 27 deadline for a vote on the infrastructure plan.
“There’s no way we can get this done by the 27th — if we do our jobs,” Manchin said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “There’s so much differences that we have here.”
“I’m for an awful lot of the things,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I’m for also putting guardrails on.”
Manchin again called for a “strategic pause,” though he declined to name a lower headline number he could accept on the larger budget bill.
“No one is talking about inflation or debt and we should have that as part of the discussion,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The emergency to do something in the next week is not there. We’ve done $5.4 trillion over the last year and about a year and a half. A lot of that money is still going out the door.
It’s the infrastructure spending “that has the urgency,” he said.
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