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Biden still hopeful of Senate passage of social spending bill

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US President Joe Biden said he remains hopeful he can secure passage of his massive social spending bill./AFP
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Dec 22, 2021 - 03:39 AM

WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he remains hopeful he can secure Senate passage of a massive social spending bill.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia dealt a potentially fatal blow last weekend to Biden’s $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” plan, saying he could not support it.

But Biden told reporters at the White House he believed the bill, the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, could be resurrected.

“I still think there’s a possibility of getting Build Back Better done,” Biden said. “Senator Manchin and I are going to get something done.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged on Monday to bring the bill, which proposes sweeping reforms to health care, immigration, climate and education, to the Senate floor.

“We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act — and we will keep voting on it until we get something done,” Schumer said.

How Democrats can do so without Manchin’s crucial vote in an evenly divided Senate is not clear.

Republican senators who backed the president’s infrastructure bill have also made it clear that they will not support Build Back Better.

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