Democrats are freaking out over Joe Manchin's budget bill rebuff. The White House isn't worried.

Joe Manchin
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) last week sent his fellow Democrats into a panic when he penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed saying he would not support his party's $3.5 trillion spending bill "without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs." The package spells out massive investments in everything from child care to immigration to climate policy. But to pass, the bill would need unanimous Democratic approval, so Manchin's wavering support "could implode Biden's whole agenda," said The Washington Post's Greg Sargent.

But the Biden administration isn't worried, apparently. White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain told CNN on Sunday that Manchin is "very persuadable," and suggested the senator could be won over with tweaks to the bill. White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond echoed this sentiment, telling ABC's This Week that this "is just the sausage-making process at the end. It just happens." He added the administration was "still full steam ahead on trying to get our legislation passed." And Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) more or less told CNN that Manchin will come around in the end, like he always does. He has "many times been willing to get to a place that's the right place to be," Klobuchar said.

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.