By Mike Murphy
Sen. Joe Manchin wants a “strategic pause” until 2022 on President Joe Biden’s sweeping $3.5 trillion spending plan, according to a new report.
Axios reported Sunday that Manchin wants to delay voting on the plan until next year, which would be a severe blow to the Biden administration’s economic agenda. The report cited remarks Manchin made to a group of Procter & Gamble /zigman2/quotes/202894679/composite PG +1.42% employees during a visit last week to a plant in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Earlier this month, the West Virginia Democrat wrote an op-ed column published by the Wall Street Journal in which he called for a “strategic pause” and said he would not support spending another $3.5 trillion. In that column, he did not specify a timeline for a pause.
Manchin’s vote is crucial in the 50-50 split Senate. A delay to the $3.5 trillion social-spending plan through budget reconciliation could derail House approval of the $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, pitting progressive Democrats against centrists.
Biden met with Manchin and fellow moderate Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona last week, in hopes of persuading them to drop their objections to the spending plan that would, among other things, invest in green energy and be funded by taxing the wealthy and corporations.