Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said she would not back President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan unless the House first passes the Senate infrastructure plan that she helped negotiate, Reuters reports.
Sinema and fellow conservative Democrat Joe Manchin said in a meeting with a group of centrist House Democrats on Wednesday that they would not “abide by any deadlines” the leadership wants to force votes on the proposal, according to the report.
The House Democrats had suggested putting a November deadline on passing both the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan but the two senators rejected the idea.
Both senators have balked at the $3.5 trillion price tag and a number of provisions in the package.
Biden is pushing for a compromise worth around $2 trillion but Manchin and Sinema have not been eager to move off their demands.
“The time for negotiations is not unending,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday. "We're eager to act. I wouldn't say it's an impatience. I would say it's an interest in moving forward.”
Sinema rejects corporate tax increase:
A key holdup in the negotiations is Sinema’s opposition to “any tax increases for individuals and large corporations,” two Senate Democratic aides told Insider.
The demand threatens to cut about $700 billion in new revenue needed to pay for the programs in the bill.
"I do not think anyone in the caucus believes that to be a tenable position," one of the aides said.
The New York Times previously reported that Democrats were considering adding a carbon tax to appease Sinema’s demand but the idea is reportedly a non-starter for Manchin.
Sinema has also played coy about what she would support in the bill.
"I have no sense of what Sinema wants,” House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth told reporters. "I can't put myself in her head. And don't want to."
Biden also expressed frustration last week.
"I was able to close the deal with 99% of my party," Biden said, holding up two fingers. "Two. Two people."