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Manchin’s Hard Line Has Democrats Scrapping to Save Biden Agenda

  • Democrats may have to shrink benefits or jettison programs
  • Divisions force delay for legislation until after new year
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Biden Adviser Rouse on Build Back Better, Inflation, Fed

President Joe Biden’s economic agenda will face a Hunger Games-like competition in January if Senator Joe Manchin sticks by his demands and forces Democrats to choose between dramatically shrinking the bill’s benefits or jettisoning most of them.

Democratic leaders on Thursday abandoned plans to pass the roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate plan before their Christmas break after it was clear that Manchin wasn’t on board. The West Virginia Democrat’s support is critical in the evenly divided Senate. But months of negotiations with Biden, including talks this week, have only hardened the resolve of the Senate’s most conservative Democrat.