Build Back Ever?

The path forward for Build Back Better following Sen. Joe Manchin’s rejection of the House-passed version before Christmas remains extremely murky. And given the apparent gulf between Manchin and the White House, Senator Schumer’s intention to spend at least the first half of the month on voting rights and additional Byrd Bath work required, a quick resolution of the issues and floor consideration in January seems unlikely at this time.

Although the White House and Sen. Joe Manchin stayed in touch over the holiday break, there are no reports of substantive progress.

Over the weekend, Manchin publicly signaled he is prepared to restart negotiations on a $1.75 trillion package provided the White House either removes the enhanced child tax credit or significantly reduces the income limits for eligible families. Child tax credit payments to families who make up to $400,000 ended yesterday.

But Manchin reportedly continues to voice additional concerns—for example, that the true cost of the House bill is closer to $4 trillion if all provisions are extended for ten years and that the package could further accelerate inflation.

After promising in a December 20 Dear Colleague letter that the Senate will consider a revised BBB “very early in the new year….and to keep on voting on it until we get something done,” Senator Schumer’s Jan. 3 letter to his members makes no mention of BBB and instead focuses solely on voting rights, indicating his intent to press for action on or before January 17.