Manchin still a no, Biden’s $2T bill on Dems’ back burner

Joe Manchin

FILE – Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., walks to a caucus lunch at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 17, 2021. Manchin said Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021 he cannot back a $2 trillion social safety net bill, dealing a potentially fatal blow to President Joe Biden’s signature legislation. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he remains opposed to President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion package of social and environmental initiatives.

It was the West Virginia moderate’s first extended remarks on the bill since saying last month he was against the legislation as written. Manchin says he’s not currently negotiating with the White House but didn’t rule out continuing talks.

Senate leaders are delaying work on the measure until at least later this month and will focus on voting rights legislation. Manchin has said the bill is too costly. It currently would bolster family services, health care, climate change and other programs, and is mostly paid for with higher taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.

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