BBB Vote Delayed, Outlook Unclear

December 22, 2021

Following intense negotiation between the White House and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), comments made by Sen. Manchin over the weekend saying he wouldn’t support the bill as-is dampened any hopes lawmakers had of passing the Build Back Better reconciliation bill (H.R. 5376) before the Christmas break. The most recent iteration of the bill includes more than $1.5 trillion in business and individual tax increases and has already been passed by the House.

Sen. Manchin’s most notable objections include: a provision that would provide a higher tax credit for new qualified plug-in electric vehicles if the final assembly is at a facility located in the U.S. that operates under a union-negotiated collective bargaining agreement; and paid family and medical leave. More generally, he also has expressed concern that the legislation could exacerbate the recent spike in inflation and that some of the temporary provisions obscure the full cost of the package if they are extended by a future Congress.

Negotiations continue, however, when Senate Democrats met Tuesday (12/21) evening to talk next steps. Sen. Manchin was reportedly on the call but didn’t play a major role in those discussions. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to push for a vote on the bill in January, and underscored his belief in the importance of passing the bill.

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