U.S. Senator Manchin casts doubt on Democrats’ deadline for budget bill

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a hearing in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks during a hearing before Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of Senate Appropriations Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., June 10, 2021. Alex Wong/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

September 12, 2021

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. Senator Joe Manchin on Sunday said lawmakers were unlikely to pass their massive budget package by Democrats’ Sept. 27 deadline, adding that he could support a smaller $1.5 trillion bill.

Manchin, a West Virginia moderate who has urged a “pause” on fellow Democrat U.S. President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion domestic spending plan, said while he supported some provisions such as universal preschool, he did not back clean energy and other measures.

The plan would also have to include a “competitive tax code” to help pay for it, he told CNN, adding he could support a domestic spending bill costing between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had agreed to hold a Sept. 27 vote on a separate bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure spending bill. While Biden and Pelosi had hoped to pass both bills together, centrist House Democrats had objected.

“There’s no way we can get this done by the Sept. 27 if we do our job,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, referring to the domestic-related spending.

“We don’t have the need to rush into this and get it done within one week,” he separately told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” program. “I could not support $3.5 trillion,” he added.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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