Biden to meet with Schumer and Manchin in Delaware for more talks on social spending package

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Washington — President Biden will meet with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin in Delaware on Sunday as Democrats look to broker an agreement on the president’s social spending plan, a person familiar with the gathering confirmed to CBS News.

Democrats are working to reach consensus on a framework for Mr. Biden’s domestic policy agenda, which will require support from Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both moderate senators who objected to the package’s initial $3.5 trillion price tag.

But there is daylight between Manchin and Democratic leaders over the topline number, as the West Virginia senator has said he supports a $1.5 trillion plan, while Mr. Biden set a price range for the legislation at roughly $2 trillion. In addition to trimming the social spending package, Democrats are also hashing out the details of how to pay for it, as the White House faced resistance from Sinema over its plan to raise the corporate tax rate and top income rate rate for the wealthiest Americans.

Mr. Biden’s sweeping domestic policy package was initially set to include his plans for paid family leave, free community college, universal pre-K and to expand Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing. But at a town hall hosted by CNN on Thursday, the president said Manchin is opposed to Medicare expansion and free community college. Mr. Biden also said his plan for 12 weeks of paid family leave had been cut down to four weeks.

President Biden Delivers Remarks At Electric City Trolley Museum
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. Biden, trying to drum up public support for his economic agenda in Scranton, met with the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Monday as lawmakers returned for make-or-break negotiations over the president’s infrastructure and social spending proposals. Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bloomberg


The president, however, expressed optimism that Democrats in both chambers could reach an agreement on a framework for the package, one that would garner support from Manchin and Sinema.

“What we’re trying to do is reach a point here where I’m able to present to the Senate — they’re able to vote on — and the House a serious, serious piece of legislation that changes the dynamic for working-class folks in America and middle-class folks, and begins to have the very wealthy and corporations just begin to pay their fair share,” he said Thursday.

Alan He contributed to this report.

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