Democrats take on Manchin and make renewed push for family leave

House Democrats resurrected a long-sought paid family leave proposal Wednesday as part of their social spending package in defiance of the Senator. Joe manchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by the American Petroleum Institute – Biden seeks to tackle methane Biden rallies nations to reduce methane emissions Democrats give Manchin warning about lack of progress on spending bill MORE (DW.Va.).

Manchin, whose vote is essential to passing the bill in the evenly divided Senate, redoubled his opposition, insisting that the social spending package is the “wrong place” for the paid leave proposal.

But the push from House Democrats to reactivate paid leave is a sign that they are willing to fight harder for it, even as they are desperately trying to close a deal as quickly as possible.

That fight comes as Democrats are reeling from disappointing election results in Virginia and New Jersey, prompting some to say the party urgently needs to deliver on campaign promises like paid family leave.

House Democrats insisted after huddling in the Capitol basement Wednesday afternoon that they still had a goal of voting later this week on both the social spending package and the passed bipartisan infrastructure bill. by the Senate.

“The reality is that we need to pass both bills and that is what we are doing. Because this is what finally tells people that we understand that you are suffering. I think last night’s elections were because people were suffering, ”said Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalLegislators Demand Answers to Detention of Iranian Americans at US-Canada Border On The Money – Presented by Citi – Democrats Close to Agreement on Biden’s Agenda Democrats on Cusp of Comprehensive Agreement on Agenda by Biden MORE (D-Wash.), The leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

House Democrats hope to increase pressure on Manchin to change his position.

“Look, I think the hope is that someone changes Senator Manchin’s mind and we can include him. And because it’s such a big priority for our entire caucus and for millions of families across the country and certainly millions of women, I think the Speaker made a decision up front to just go ahead and include it and see if we can continue to do the job. job. to do it, ”Jayapal said.

Manchin said Wednesday that he would rather enact paid family leave in a bipartisan way, rather than in the reconciliation package.

“I want to support paid vacations. I want to do it in a bipartisan way. I have spoken with [GOP Sen.] Susan collinsSusan Margaret Collins First openly lesbian judge confirmed in federal circuit court Congress can help save pregnant women and mothers of color Collins casts 8,000 consecutive roll call votes in the Senate MORE. I have spoken with colleagues on both sides. We both agree that something can be done, ”Manchin said.

“Let’s do that in a [way]. We are trying to force it through reconciliation, which has guardrails and rules and regulations. Let’s do it and let’s do it well, ”he said.

House Democrats released legislation Wednesday that includes four weeks of paid family leave starting in 2024. It would also raise the limit for the state and local tax deduction from $ 10,000 a year to $ 72,500 while extends the limit until 2031, and would allow temporary work permits. for certain immigrants.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton Hoyer On the money – Presented by Citi – Democrats move closer to agreeing on Biden Pelosi’s agenda: Bill problems could be resolved at the end of the day House Democrats ignore Manchin MORE (D-Md.) He acknowledged that “we are still working”, but added: “I hope we can bring the invoices to the floor before the end of the week.”

Democrats hope to pass the spending plan through a process called reconciliation, which will allow them to green light the bill in the evenly split Senate with a simple majority vote, without going through Republican obstructionism.

Still, with almost no room for defections in either chamber, it’s clear Democrats have a lot of work to do to get the two bills to Biden’s desk.

It is not yet clear whether the immigration provisions will make it past the meeting with the Senate MP, who determines whether everything in the social spending package meets the chamber’s arcane budget reconciliation rules that allow the measure to bypass obstructionism.

Some senators also oppose lifting the cap on the state and local tax deduction, a top priority for House lawmakers representing high-tax states, including New Jersey and California.

Sense. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) Menendez Republicans express concern over Biden’s nominee for ambassador to Germany Biden sparks high-stakes fight over spending framework Why is Trump undermining his administration’s historic China policies? PLUS (DN.J.) and Bernie sandersBernie SandersShontel Brown wins special election to replace Marcia Fudge in Ohio House district Democrats give Manchin warning about lack of progress on spending bill LIVE COVERAGE: Youngkin wins in Virginia ; New Jersey gubernatorial race in a tie MORE (I-Vt.) On Wednesday he raised the idea of ​​removing the cap for families making about $ 400,000 or less, but his proposal has not been finalized.

Shortly after the last legislative text of the House Democrats, the senator, was published publicly. Michael BennetMichael Farrand Bennet Colorado Supreme Court Approves New Map of Congress Building Back Better by Investing in Workers and Communities Biden Signs Bill to Help Victims of ‘Havana Syndrome’ MORE (D-Colo.) He said the lower house proposal “reduces taxes for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of low- and middle-income families.”

“We should fix this in the Senate,” Bennet added.

Meanwhile, some centrists are urging their colleagues to slow down and delay the presentation of the social spending package in the House until everyone has had time to review the legislative text of the huge bill and wait for an analysis from the Budget Office. congressional.

Other centrists are also skeptical about the strategy of passing a bill that could be changed in the Senate, which is a step back from Democratic leaders who previously stated that they would not subject members of the House to strict votes on provisions that do not. become law.

Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) expressed his willingness to vote for the paid family leave provision, even if it is ultimately not approved by the Senate. And while Cuellar estimated that about 95 percent of the bill will pass the Senate, he acknowledged that other moderates like him will have to consider the blanket estimate of what is unlikely to survive in the upper house.

“So the question is, is that 5 percent something that will worry many of us?” Cuellar said. “Personally, I want to see some kind of paid family leave.”

Democrats have spent weeks cutting what was initially a $ 3.5 trillion social and climate spending plan to nearly half that amount after pushback from moderates concerned about overhead costs.

The reignited push by House Democrats to bring the proposal back into the spending plan, despite Manchin’s resistance, comes as multiple exit polls from Virginia’s race showed Republican Glenn Younkin drastically outperformed the Democrats. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe Democrats must stop infighting and four other lessons from the 2021 election Democrats feel new urgency on Biden’s agenda after Virginia defeat Republican optimism soars over Democratic debacle MORE among white women who do not have college degrees.

Asked Wednesday about how Democrats plan to pass the plan in the Senate, where Manchin’s vote will be key to its passage, the chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauro535 ‘Presidents’ with Veto Power: Why the Budget Agreement Remains Elusive Which Proposals Will Survive in the Democrats’ Spending Plan? Proposals to reform parenting supports face a cutting board MORE (D-Conn.), One of the leading proponents of paid family and medical leave, said, “Well, we’ll see.”

Naomi Strawberry contributed.

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