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Democrats work to redesign the Build Back Better bill to overcome opposition from own party

Democrats remain hopeful aspects of the Build Back Better bill will pass after opposition from their own party stalled the bill in the Senate.
Talks continue among Democrats as members of the party remain hopeful the Build Back Better bill will pass, despite opposition from their own party which caused
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:41 AM MST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Talks continue among Democrats as members of the party remain hopeful the Build Back Better bill will pass, despite opposition from their own party which caused the bill to gridlock in the Senate.

“I think something will eventually pass,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky, “I don’t think it will be close to what we passed in the House.”

Senator Joe Manchin halted hope that the bill would pass in December of 2021 after he voiced opposition to the measure.

“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” Manchin said in a statement released December 19th.

Manchin further explained that opposition in January when his office wrote Gray TV “Senator Manchin has clearly articulated his policy concerns with Build Back Better which are rooted in rising inflation, the ongoing pandemic and the geopolitical uncertainty around the world. He continues to look for ways to improve the lives of every American.”.

“I am of the opinion that on climate change, on free pre-K for every child in America, on help for seniors at home that we can get that legislation passed,” said Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts who added he is willing to work with Joe Manchin to help construct a deal.

Other Democrats, like Yarmuth, still hope to salvage the highly-debated child tax credit for families. The expanded child tax credit approved through the American Rescue Plan expired in December.

“My preference is that we focus on extending the child tax credit which has made a huge difference in the lives of lower and middle income Americans,” he said.

Yarmuth admitted some aspects of Build Back Better may have to be shelved in order to come to a compromise on the bill as it also does not have Senate Republican support. However, he said any part of the plan that does pass will be a win for Americans.

“There are really some important things in Build Back Better that I think we’re probably going to have to shelve for the time being like the investment in affordable housing, rent support, and so forth” said Yarmuth.

“Everything that is in this Build Back Better bill is something that’s really important for this country to do. It’s worthy of doing and it’s absolutely necessary,” he added.

Some Democrats, like Yarmuth, have also suggested rebranding the Build Back Better plan as he said “I think it’s been hard for the pubic to get a sense of what’s in it.”

“That portion of the Biden agenda was originally called the American families plan and I don’t know why we ever left that title because that at least gives a hint to what it is. Build Back Better sounds like infrastructure to me, which we just passed,” he said.

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