The White House on Tuesday denied a report that the administration is preparing an alternative proposal to replace President Biden’s social and climate spending plan, according to The Hill.
Calling it “off base,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates dismissed a Reuters report that said the White House is putting together a new package that contains elements of the roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better bill that has stalled in the Senate.
“Reuters is wrong,” Bates said in a statement. “We are always in touch with members about this, and the substance and details of this report are off base.”
Reuters reported that the new package would include the climate change components of the original bill but would be reduced in size by partially or completely eliminating funding for provisions like the extension of the enhanced child tax credit and four weeks of paid family and medical leave.
The House passed the expansive legislation, a priority for Biden in his first term, in late November but opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has derailed its passage in the Senate.
Appearing on Fox News in December after months of negotiations with the White House had fallen through, Manchin said that he could not support the legislation in its current form. With unanimous Republican opposition, Biden needs every Senate Democrat on board to pass the bill through the budget reconciliation process in the evenly split Senate.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the version of the legislation that the House approved is effectively “dead” but indicated that a revised version of the bill might pass.
“I still believe we're going to find a core of this bill, whatever we call it, we're going to find the core of the bill and pass it, and it will deal directly with some of these inflation concerns,” Kaine said.
Though the White House and Senate Democrats shifted their focus at the beginning of the year to passing voting legislation, talks on the Build Back Better agenda are continuing, the White House said.
“The President and his team have been working hard, continuously, with both chambers to pass his economic growth plan for the middle class that will cut the biggest costs families face — like prescription drugs and child care — bring back more jobs from overseas after we made 2021 a record-breaking year for job creation, fight inflation for the long haul, reduce the deficit and tackle the climate crisis,” Bates said in the statement Tuesday.
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