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Manchin calls for ‘pause’ on $3.5 trillion budget resolution

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Jessica Smith joins Brian Sozzi and Seana Smith to discuss Senator Joe Manchin’s continued efforts to obstruct the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget resolution as his call to ‘pause’ could risk tanking the bill.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: I also want to bring up another big story that we're following, Senator Manchin is now calling for a potential pause on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. We know that this has been a huge priority for the Biden administration, along with several of his colleagues down in DC. What can you tell us about this and what this potentially means for getting something done in the timeline that the Biden administration would like to see?

JESSICA SMITH: Well, you know, I think we'll see Democrats and progressives use this jobs report as evidence that more help is needed, especially when it comes to things like child care. But Senator Manchin did write this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal outlining why he opposes $3.5 trillion for this reconciliation package. As you mentioned, he's calling for a pause.

This shouldn't be much of a surprise for people who have watched Senator Manchin over the course of this pandemic, over the past few months throughout these negotiations. But he says that lawmakers should take time to see how the pandemic is playing out and whether inflation is transitory or not before moving forward with the reconciliation package. He said in a statement-- or said in an op-ed in part, "While some have suggested this reconciliation legislation must be passed now, I believe that making budgetary decisions under artificial political deadlines never leads to good policy or sound decisions. I've always said if I can explain it, I can't vote for it. And I can't explain why my Democratic colleagues are rushing to spend $3.5 trillion."

Now, we also know there's another Senator, Senator Sinema, who has said that she opposes $3.5 trillion. And Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote on this. So it's going to make things difficult. Other Democrats are pushing back against Senator Manchin in this op-ed. We've heard from progressives including the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, who said in a tweet, "Pause on finally delivering child care, paid leave, education, health care, affordable housing, climate action, and dental, vision, and hearing to millions of families across America? Absolutely not."

You'll remember, progressives say they will not support the bipartisan infrastructure bill until reconciliation passes. So they see $3.5 trillion as a compromise. This is going to be tricky for the White House, for Speaker Pelosi, and Democrats as they try and get this across the finish line. Guys.