(Bloomberg) -- Progressive Democrats are pressuring the Senate to break the logjam on President Joe Biden’s agenda and get the legislation passed by the time he delivers his State of the Union address on March 1.
“In the months since negotiations around the Build Back Better Act stalled, the case for this legislation has only become more urgent,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement Thursday.
Biden’s social spending and climate plan has been held up in the Senate since December when Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he wouldn’t support the legislation, which had already been trimmed down from the measure that passed the House. The package was intended to be the centerpiece for Democratic congressional campaigns for the midterm elections this November.
Democrats need Manchin’s vote in the 50-50 Senate, with Republicans united in opposition. Biden and other Democrats have already conceded they will need to make more changes in the legislation to get Manchin’s support.
Manchin said in a radio interview Thursday that there have been conversations about potential compromises but no direct negotiations yet.
Jayapal, a Washington State Democrat, said that there are several provisions in the bill that can win support from all Democrats and should move forward.
“There is agreement among Senate Democrats on significant parts of this bill: climate action, the care economy, taking on Big Pharma’s price gouging, and lowering health care costs,” she said. “There is agreement on the need to reduce rising costs facing ordinary Americans — and that is exactly what Build Back Better does.”
Jayapal added that passing the bill by March 1 would give Biden a significant achievement to promote in his State of the Union address.
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