President Joe Biden said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir that he thinks “a significant amount of what we need to get done” as part of his Build Back Better social legislation will, in fact, “get done” — despite opposition from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.
The House passed Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan last month, providing significant funding for child care, paid family leave, education, health care and combating climate change. Manchin, of West Virginia, has held up its passage in the Senate and earlier this week said he would vote “no on this piece of legislation.”
“Senator Manchin’s main sticking point, it would appear, is the Child Tax Credit,” Muir told Biden during the sit-down interview, referring to Democrats’ goal of continuing to offer parents an expanded tax credit after Congress and Biden temporarily expanded it earlier this year.
“Are you willing to take that out, if it means bringing him on board?” Muir pressed.
“Well, look, I want to get as much as I can possibly get done, as much as we can possibly get done, and I still think we’ll be able to get a significant amount of what we need to get done, done,” Biden said. “Particularly as the American people figure out what is in this legislation. It’s extremely consequential.”
You can watch more of David Muir’s interview with President Joe Biden on ABC “World News Tonight” and “Nightline” at 12:35 a.m. ET
ABC NewsPresident Joe Biden is interviewed by ABC’s David Muir, Dec. 22, 2021, at the White House, in Washington, D.C.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had hoped to pass the bill in the Senate by Christmas, a timeline the White House said it supported. Manchin’s continued opposition has made that impossible.
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With the Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, the president needs every Democrat to support his bill. The White House had for months been negotiating with Manchin, who has expressed concern about the legislation’s overall price tag, as well as its impact on inflation. (The White House argues the bill will actually ease inflation.)
Evelyn Hockstein/ReutersPresident Joe Biden pauses during a speech at the White House, Dec. 16, 2021.
“You’ve met with Senator Joe Manchin a number of times,” Muir said. “You invited him to your home in Delaware, he came to the White House a week ago. Then he’s on Sunday morning cable and says ‘I’m a no.’ How does that happen? How, how are you not able to close the deal?”
Biden spoke about his administration’s accomplishments and the growing economy, and pointed out that after Manchin said he would vote “no,” Goldman Sachs slashed its expectations for U.S. economic output next year.
“Look, when Joe — when Senator Manchin announced he wasn’t going to go for the deal, what happened?” Biden said. “Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms — not liberal organizations — said, ‘Whoa, that’s bad.’ We need this Build Back Better plan to continue the growth rate.”
J. Scott Applewhite/AP, FILESen. Joe Manchin leaves his office after speaking with President Joe Biden about his long-stalled domestic agenda, at the Capitol, Dec. 13, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
The White House and congressional Democrats have pledged to redouble efforts to pass the social policy plan, with a vote in the Senate as soon as next month when members of Congress return to Washington.
MORE: Sen. Joe Manchin suggests Child Tax Credit payments would be used to buy drugs
“I haven’t given up on this,” Biden told Muir. “I haven’t given up on it.”
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