Democrats take on Manchin, push for family leave again

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House Democrats on Wednesday resurrected a much-sought-after paid family leave proposal as part of their social spending program in defiance of the senator. Joe manchinJoe ManchinOvernight Energy & Environment – Presented by the American Petroleum Institute – Biden Seeks to Tackle Methane Biden rallies nations to cut methane emissions (DW.Va.).

Manchin, whose vote is key to passing the bill in the equally divided Senate, doubled down on his opposition and insisted the social spending package is the “wrong place” for the paid leave proposal.

But pressure from House Democrats to revive paid time off is a signal that they are ready to fight more on it, even as they desperately try to strike a deal as quickly as possible.

The fight comes as Democrats reeling from disappointing election results in Virginia and New Jersey, which has left some saying the party absolutely needs to keep campaign promises such as paid family leave.

House Democrats insisted after gathering in the Capitol basement on Wednesday afternoon that they were still aiming to vote later this week on the social spending package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed by the Senate.

“The reality is that we have to pass both bills and that is what we are doing. Because that’s what ultimately tells people that we understand you’re in pain. I think last night’s election was about the people who were suffering, ”said Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila Jayapal Lawmakers Call for Answers for Iranian-American Detention at Canada-U.S. Border (D-Wash.), Leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

House Democrats hope to step up pressure on Manchin to reverse his position.

“Listen, I think the hope is that someone changes Senator Manchin’s mind and we can include it. And because this is such a high priority for our entire caucus and for millions of families across the country and certainly millions of women, I think the Speaker has made a principled decision to move on. ‘forward and include it and see if we can continue to do the work to do it, ”Jayapal said.

Manchin said Wednesday he would prefer to adopt paid family leave on a bipartisan basis, rather than as part of the reconciliation plan.

“I want to support paid vacation. I want to do it in a bipartisan way. I talked to [GOP Sen.] Susan collinsSusan Margaret Collins First Confirmed Openly Lesbian Federal Circuit Court Judge Congress Can Help Save Pregnant Women And Mothers Of Color Collins Throws 8,000 Consecutive Recorded Votes In Senate MORE. I have spoken to colleagues on both sides. We both agree that something can be done, ”Manchin said.

“Let’s do this in a good [way]. We try to force it through reconciliation, which has safeguards and rules and regulations. Let’s do it and let’s do it right, ”he said.

House Democrats on Wednesday unveiled legislation that includes four weeks of paid family leave starting in 2024. It would also raise the national and local tax deduction cap from $ 10,000 per year to $ 72,500 while extending the cap until 2031, and would allow temporary work permits. for some immigrants.

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton Hoyer On the money – Presented by Citi – Democrats move closer to Biden Pelosi agenda: Bill issues could be resolved by “end of day” House repel Manchin PLUS (D-Md.) Acknowledged “we are still working” but added, “I hope we can file the bills before the end of the week.”

Democrats hope to pass the spending plan using a process called reconciliation, which will allow them to green light the bill in the equally divided Senate with a simple majority vote, bypassing Republican obstruction.

Still, with almost no room for defections in either chamber, it’s clear Democrats have a lot of work to do to get both bills to Biden’s office.

It is not yet clear whether the immigration arrangements will be approved by the Senate parliamentarian, who determines whether everything in the social spending package respects obscure chamber budget reconciliation rules that allow the measure to bypass a obstruction.

Some senators also oppose lifting the cap on state and local tax deductions, a top priority for House lawmakers representing high-tax states, including New Jersey and California.

Sense. Bob menendezRobert (Bob) Menendez Republicans worried about Biden’s candidate for ambassador to Germany Biden triggers high-stakes rush on spending framework Why is Trump undermining his administration’s historic policies in China? FOLLOWING (DN.J.) and Bernie sandersBernie SandersShontel Brown wins the special election to replace Marcia Fudge in the Ohio House district. The New Jersey Governor’s Race in the heat of the moment MORE (I-Vt.) On Wednesday pitched the idea of ​​removing the cap for families earning around $ 400,000 or less, but their proposal was not finalized.

Shortly after the public release of House Democrats’ latest legislation, Sen. Michel BennetMichael Farrand BennetColorado Supreme Court Approves New Congressional Map Rebuild Better By Investing In Workers And Communities Biden Signs Bill To Help Victims Of ‘Havana Syndrome’ MORE (D-Colo.) Said the lower house’s proposal “cuts taxes for millionaires and billionaires at the expense of low- and middle-income families.”

“We should solve this problem in the Senate,” Bennet added.

Some centrists, meanwhile, are urging their colleagues to slow down and delay the tabling of the social spending package until everyone has had time to consider the legislative text of the massive bill and wait for a response. analysis of the Congressional Budget Office.

Other centrists are also skeptical of the strategy of passing a bill that could be amended in the Senate, which is a reversal from Democratic leaders who previously said they would only subject House members to the Senate. no difficult vote on provisions that do not become law.

Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said he was open to voting for the paid family leave provision even if it was ultimately not passed by the Senate. And while Cuellar has estimated that about 95% of the bill will pass in the Senate, he acknowledged that other moderates like him will have to consider the aggregate calculation of what is not likely to survive in the upper house.

“So the question is, will this 5% be something that will bother a lot of us?” Cuellar said. “Personally, I want to see some kind of paid family leave. “

Democrats have spent weeks slashing what was initially a $ 3.5 trillion social and climate spending plan to almost half that amount after moderates worried about overall costs retreated.

The rekindled push by House Democrats to put the proposal back on the spending plan, despite resistance from Manchin, comes as several exit polls from the Virginia race have shown Republican Glenn Younkin significantly outperformed Democrat Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe Democrats must stop internal bickering – and four more lessons from the 2021 election Democrats feel new urgency on Biden’s agenda after Virginia rout Republican optimism soars in the face of Democratic debacle MORE among white women who do not have a college degree.

Asked on Wednesday how Democrats plan to push the plan through the Senate, where Manchin’s vote will be key to its passage, the chair of the House appropriations committee Rosa DeLauroRosa DeLauro535 “presidents” with veto power: why the budget agreement remains elusive What proposals will survive in the Democrats’ spending plan? Proposals to reform parenting supports face a major challenge PLUS (D-Conn.), A major proponent of paid family and medical leave, said, “Well, we’ll see.”

Naomi Jagoda contributed.


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