Ian Patrick, FISM News
President Joe Biden told progressive House Democrats that the massive $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill may need to come down in its final price tag, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
During a virtual meeting on Monday with the House Progressive Caucus, Biden discussed the possibility of dropping the price tag “to get the bill passed.” A source familiar with the call said the progressive members noted they want to pass “as robust a plan as they can” according to CNN.
I ran on my Build Back Better Agenda. I said it was time to build an economy that looks out from Scranton — instead of looking down from Wall Street.
It’s what 81 million Americans — the most votes in history — were supporting when they supported me.
Now it’s time to deliver.
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 5, 2021
Congressional progressives have been staunch on passing the full $3.5 trillion bill alongside the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but have met resistance from Republicans and moderate members of their own party. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has been the most outspoken critic of the price of the Build Back Better bill, calling it “fiscal insanity” and offering a $1.5 trillion alternative which progressives won’t consider.
With Manchin in mind, Biden reportedly suggested the bill should be somewhere between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion. When asked about the range Manchin did not openly reject it but told CNN, “I want to make sure that we’re strategic, we do the right job and we don’t basically add more to the concerns we have right now.”
Biden and the progressive legislators talked about priorities to keep in the bill and how to manage a lower price tag. Reuters reports that the White House noted that the call was productive and further said they “renewed their commitment to getting each bill passed so that we can make investing in families the heart of our economic growth strategy.”