Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wa.) said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)’s proposal the reconciliation bill be worth $1.5 trillion is too small, and left-wing members of the Democratic Party won’t support it.
Over the past several days, infighting has escalated between progressive and moderate Democrats over the cost of the budget reconciliation bill, which includes a bevy of climate programs and social welfare initiatives. Manchin has long argued that the bill is too expensive and would likely trigger yet another spike in inflation.
“We don’t know what the number is. There’s no number on the table yet [that everyone’s] agreed to,” Jayapal told CNN on Sunday. I don’t feel the need to give a number. I gave a number it was 3.5 [trillion]. If you are in a negotiation, you need to have a counteroffer before you bid at yourself,” she added.
When asked about whether the Manchin proposal of $1.5 trillion is acceptable, Jayapal—who represents most of Seattle and several other areas—said the measure won’t be passed.
“That not going to happen because that’s too small to get our priorities in,” she remarked. “It will be between 1.5 and 3.5, and I think the White House is working on that right now because remember, what we want to deliver is child care, paid leave, and climate change.”
Progressives like Jayapal and members of the socialist “Squad” have insisted that the budget reconciliation bill be passed in the House of Representatives before the Biden-backed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which was approved by the Senate in a bipartisan vote, is taken up. President Joe Biden met with Democrat members of Congress late last week and promised to pass both measures but suggested no deal was intact.
“It doesn’t matter when. It doesn’t matter whether it’s six minutes, six days, or six weeks. We’re gonna get it done,” he said.
Jayapal’s comments come in contrast to claims made by senior White House advisor Cedric Richmond, who told several Sunday morning interview programs that Democrats need to pare back their agenda.
“People will be disappointed. People will not get everything they want, that is the art of legislating, but the goal here is to get both bills, and we’re going to fight until we get both bills,” Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, told “Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Last week, Manchin held a press conference and said that he doesn’t believe there is a need for a budget reconciliation bill and suggested that he compromised by coming up with $1.5 trillion.
“I wasn’t trying to be the fly in the ointment at all. I’ve never been. I’ve never been a liberal in any way, shape, or form. No-one has ever thought I was.” Manchin said. “For them to get theirs, I guess elect more liberals. I’m not asking them to change. I’m willing to come from zero to 1.5 [trillion].”