long road ahead
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) believes Democrats will "come together" to finalize and ultimately pass their sweeping $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, despite concerns from key moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).
Schumer on Wednesday confidently told reporters that senators "are going to all come together to get something done" and that the final legislation will include "every part of the Biden plan in a big, bold, robust way," per Axios. He did not seem to rule out coming in below $3.5 trillion, and quickly dismissed inflation concerns by promising the package will be paid for.
Earlier that day, Manchin issued a statement saying that although he voted in favor of furthering the reconciliation process, he has "serious concerns" regarding both inflation and the size of the package as it stands.
"I firmly believe that continuing to spend at irresponsible levels puts at risk our nation's ability to respond to the unforeseen crises our country could face," wrote Manchin.
Sinema has previously expressed opposition to a $3.5 trillion price tag.
Senate Democrats can pass the final legislation without Republican support, but for that to happen, all 50 caucus members — including Manchin and Sinema — must vote in favor. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has maintained that she will not take up the newly Senate-passed infrastructure bill until work on the accompanying budget resolution has finished, even as House moderates — who also have concerns over the size of the package — urge her to stand down, adds Axios.