Manchin has been coy about his views of this proposal, despite months of efforts by Biden and his team to court the West Virginia Democrat to back a pared back plan. But Manchin has been concerned about a number of proposals, including an expansion of Medicare.
The bill is not yet finalized, but Biden announced a framework last week spelling out key details and the plan is poised to grow the entitlement program to cover hearing benefits but stops short of vision and dental coverage as many liberals had demanded.
Manchin told CNN on Monday he plans to soon make a statement. “I think I will clear up a lot of things sometime today,” he said.
Asked him to explain what that meant, he said: “I think there needs to be clarity on where everybody stands.” He later said: “I’m gonna put clarity to it.”
Manchin suggested to CNN last week he was supportive of the $1.75 trillion price tag, but he has not weighed in on the overall proposal as well as many of the details.
Manchin’s comments come at a crucial time for Biden’s agenda. If he indicates he’s unlikely to support the sweeping economic spending package that could cause liberals in the House to withhold their support from a separate $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan as part of an effort to pressure him to fall in line.
Democrats plan to pass the plan using a process known as budget reconciliation that would allow them to approve the measure in the Senate without any GOP votes. But that means they would need all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus to vote for it. That dynamic has given Manchin as well as another key moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, outsized influence in the process.
The plan would represent a massive investment in key liberal priorities and a significant expansion of the social safety net. It would focus on expanding access to health care, addressing the climate crisis and increasing aid to families among a number of provisions, and stands as a centerpiece of the President’s domestic agenda.