Manchin Not Sure Spending Bills Can Pass by Halloween

Speaker Pelosi set a new Halloween deadline for passage of both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and the one-party social spending bill, but Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) thinks Americans are more likely to get a trick than a treat.

“There is an awful lot going on,” Manchin told reporters. “I don’t know how that would happen.”

The infrastructure bill that passed the Senate with 69 votes two whole months ago is sitting there, ready to go. But Pelosi and President Biden have refused to act, hoping to tie passage to the one-party spending plan. All 50 Senate Democrats will need to agree to get that done, so Manchin may sit down with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who chairs the Budget Committee, to see if they can reach a compromise. Manchin also met Monday evening with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), who leads the House Progressive Caucus.

But Politico reports Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), fearing the loss of the Virginia governorship on November 2, “has started urging his colleagues to support a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the coming days — even if the Build Back Better bill isn’t ready yet.” He has been speaking with Manchin about getting infrastructure done this month.

The House is scheduled to be in session just eight more days before Halloween. The time for action is running out. Biden will meet with House members including Problem Solvers Caucus Co-chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) today.

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