Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is planning to bring President Biden’s $1.7 trillion social spending and climate bill to the floor as soon as the week of Dec. 13, according to multiple sources.
The bill, titled the Build Back Better Act, passed the House Nov. 19 but Schumer will need full support from his caucus to advance the package through the reconciliation process in the Senate. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have consistently voiced concerns with the bill and neither have confirmed whether they will vote for it as is.
Schumer said Democrats are still having conversations with the Senate parliamentarian, who provides guidance on what can be included in a bill passed through budget reconciliation.
“As soon as the necessary technical and procedural work with the Senate parliamentarian has been completed…the Senate will take up this legislation,” Schumer told reporters on Tuesday. Schumer added that he’s had good conversations with Manchin about the bill and said, “We’re going to get this bill done with 50 Democrats before Christmas.”
Manchin is reportedly interested in stripping out a provision in the House-passed bill that would give American workers four weeks of paid family and medical leave. Manchin said he favors paid leave but wants a bipartisan solution. The West Virginia senator has also expressed concerns with some of the climate provisions in the BBB Act.
Senate Republicans are unanimously opposed to the package, and have refuted Democrats’ claims that the legislation is fully paid for. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said this week that Americans are “getting slammed” with inflation and Democrats persist in pushing “another massive, reckless taxing and spending spree.”
Absent Republican support, McConnell said Democrats are in a precarious position with the Build Back Better Act. “We all know that it would only take one Democrat to tank it,” he said.