Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said Sunday that the party is working to rework its Build Back Better proposal to appease holdout Sen. Joe Manchin but many Democrats may be “disappointed” with the final result, Insider reports.
Cardin, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, told Fox News that the Build Back Better legislation is not dead despite Manchin’s statement opposing it.
“There is unanimity in our caucus that we want to get a bill to the president, and we are working to see what that bill will contain. President Biden is directly involved in these negotiations,” Cardin said.
“We are prepared to move; we just need to make sure we have unanimity in our caucus and that's what we are working on and we will start on that next week when we return,” he added.
Manchin has pushed to cut the expanded Child Tax Credit from the bill and has insisted that Democrats fund programs in the legislation for 10 years rather than using 10 years worth of tax revenues to fund shorter-term proposals.
Progressives prepare for disappointment:
Cardin acknowledged that some in the caucus, especially progressives who have pushed for a larger bill, are unlikely to get what they want.
"I think we can reach that sweet spot. Look, a lot of us are gonna be disappointed, but we're not gonna let perfection be the enemy of getting something done," Cardin said.
"I think we'll be pragmatic about it, but we want to make sure it deals with the issues that we're facing in our in our communities," he added.
But Cardin pushed back on the idea that Manchin is too conservative for the Democratic Party.
"The Democratic Party is proud of having a broad tent," he said. "There's absolutely room in our party for Joe Manchin and Elizabeth Warren and everyone in between."
Progressives urge executive action:
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal is calling for President Joe Biden to use executive action to "make clear to those who hinder Build Back Better that the White House and Democrats will deliver for Americans."
“The Progressive Caucus will continue to work toward legislation for Build Back Better, focused on keeping it as close to the agreed-upon framework as possible. At the same time, we are calling on the president to use executive action to immediately improve people’s lives,” she wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
“We can’t be naive about the difficulty of once again negotiating with someone who has not kept his commitments,” she added, taking a shot at Manchin. “But legislation remains the best path for delivering enduring relief. Nor can we underestimate the urgency to act, especially as covid is surging and so many constituencies — seniors, people of color, working and young people — are disillusioned. Democrats must prove that their voices and their votes matter, and that we can produce tangible economic assistance.”