Speed Reads

build back someday

Talks between Biden and Joe Manchin are reportedly 'going very poorly'

Senate Democrats still haven't passed President Biden's sweeping Build Back Better agenda, and it's looking increasingly unlikely they'll manage to do so before the end of year, CNBC reports.

Continuing to complicate things is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), whose spending package negotiations with Biden are "going very poorly," a source tells Politico. The two "are far apart," the source added. Manchin has not yet signed off on the $1.75 trillion proposal, reportedly for reasons having to do with the expanded child tax credit.

Though the president and the lawmaker developed a cozy and respectful rapport this year, the slow pace of talks is weighing on their relationship; Biden has reportedly grown tired of the protracted process, and will soon encourage Manchin "to make a decision and support the legislation," Politico reports, citing two White House sources.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday he will keep working to bring the legislation to a vote, but at this point, it's likely to move into 2022, explains CNBC. Not only is Manchin still a question mark, but the bill's legislative text has yet to be finalized, among other to-do's.

If Congress fails to pass the plan in 2021, the enhanced child tax credit will expire at the end of the year unless extended. Passage of the Build Back Better Act would renew the $300 monthly payments for a year.

All this said, Manchin ultimately doesn't want to tank Biden's agenda and isn't one to do so, according to his friends in the Senate.

"They may have very different views about timing," said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) of the president and Manchin. "It's less about whether, than about when and how much."