Manchin tells senators he’s skeptical Build Back Better can pass this year, as doubts grow it will get done by Christmas
All of that means major changes would need to be made to the bill, followed by a full cost analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, and a review by the Senate parliamentarian, which is raising doubts that could all be accomplished in time for passage by the Christmas, as Schumer hopes.
One Democratic source pegged the likelihood that the bill can pass this year at “20-25%.”
“He has a lot of concerns,” the source said.
Asked about his private comments to senators, Manchin told Fintech Zoom on Thursday night that the timing of the vote depends on when the Senate parliamentarian rules on what parts of the bill comply with the chamber’s strict rules.
“Debt and inflation are a big concern for me,” the West Virginia Democrat said. “Basically we should pay for what we’re doing.”
Manchin said on Thursday that if Schumer tries to force him to make a decision by putting a bill on the floor, “I wouldn’t have any idea how I’m going to vote until I walk in.”
If he voted no, as Republicans hope, it would sink the bill in the 50-50 Senate.
“The House did a very strong bill. Everyone knows that Manchin and Sinema have their concerns, but we’re going to try to negotiate with them and get a very strong, bold bill out of the Senate, which will then go back to the House and pass,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said during a news briefing in late November.