Republicans hope to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to modify or vote against President Joe Biden’s ”Build Back Better” spending plan after a new Congressional Budget Office report on Friday, according to The Hill.
The CBO analysis suggested the cost of Biden’s initiative could soar to $3 trillion over the next decade if all programs added in the legislation are permanent.
Last month, the office released a report that the legislation would increase the nation’s deficit by around $160 billion over the next decade if the programs were not made permanent.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, called out Manchin by name at a press conference on the CBO’s findings.
“Joe Manchin has been wanting to know without gimmicks what would the bill cost. We now know it more than doubles. … I’ve done what Sen. Manchin said somebody should do,” Graham said.
Graham added that the West Virginia senator was stunned about the new CBO report when he talked to him on Friday.
“I talked to him this morning. He was stunned. I think he felt vindicated and that his concerns were legitimate,” Graham said.
Graham said that if Manchin helps shelve the bill, bipartisan discussions of how to fight inflation can begin.
“What I would ask him to do, if you believe we should pause, count me in, Joe, for sitting down with you and others to find a way to lower inflation, deal with supply chain, and maybe come up with a new bipartisan bill … that we actually can pay for,” Graham said.
Manchin has not announced publicly if he supports the “Build Back Better” plan. Hoping to win him over, Senate Democrats have made changes to the House-passed bill and are negotiating with him on areas such as paid leave and addressing climate change.