Congress

Hey What Is Up With The 'Build Back Better' Sausage? Well, Who F*cking Knows!

Don't look too closely at the sausage-making, it's not done yet.

President Joe Biden met yesterday with a whole bunch of Democratic members of Congress to get things moving on the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, and it's starting to look like some progress is being made. As we've known from the start, getting it passed with all 50 Democrats in the Senate will require the votes of the two-member Senate Democratic Obstructionist Caucus, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, both of whom want the final bill to be far smaller than the initial $3.5 trillion plan (over 10 years), which you may remember was already a compromise from "all the trillions."

In his White House meeting with progressive Dems yesterday, Biden floated a top line number of around $2 trillion, or possibly as low as $1.75 trillion even, depending on what ultimately goes into the bill, which is still very much being negotiated. After the meeting, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) said that what matters isn't so much the precise number, but putting programs in place that will help working families and address the threat of climate change:

It's not the number that we want — we have consistently tried to make it as high as possible. [...] The idea that we can do these programs, a multitude of programs, and actually get them going so that they deliver immediate transformational benefits to people is what we're focused on.

The Washington Post reports that Biden told progressives a likely framework would still include most key provisions of his agenda, though they'd have to be scaled back, according to four insiders who spoke to the Post:

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