Speed Reads

build back better is back?

Manchin is reportedly ready to talk Build Back Better again

Buckle up, politicos — Sen. Joe Manchin is reportedly back at (or on his way to) the negotiating table for President Biden's languishing social and climate legislation known as the Build Back Better agenda, The Washington Post reported Thursday night.

The West Virginia Democrat first killed the package in December, citing inflation and the "mammoth" cost of the $1.75 trillion bill as his reasons for objecting. Without his support, Democrats were unable to push the legislation through the 50-50 Senate.

Now, however, Manchin is reportedly looking to revive and vote on the bill before August recess, the Post reports. He wants the package to take an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy policy, and believes "it's still possible to reach a deal that includes billions of dollars' worth of provisions to tackle climate change, cut prescription drug costs and update the tax code," the Post writes.

Manchin has reportedly also indicated he'd like the White House to make certain concessions regarding oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Senator Manchin is always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward," said Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon in an email. "He has made clear that we can protect energy independence and respond to climate change at the same time."

In informal talks, Manchin has reportedly outlined a deal "that includes roughly $500 billion for climate and $1 trillion in new revenue," Axios reports. But the senator is apparently not necessarily indicating support for the "human infrastructure" pieces of Biden's social safety net overhaul.

With the Senate currently occupied by the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, when Build Back Better officially returns to the congressional conversation remains to be seen.