Nancy Pelosi rejects Manchin’s name for a “break” and exhibits little willingness to chop $ 3.5 trillion

“Obviously I disagree,” Pelosi told CNN when asked about Manchin’s heavily publicized request to Congress to put the brakes on in order to fulfill much of President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda this month.

“The number is the number, $ 3.5 (trillion), we can’t go beyond that,” Pelosi said. When asked about the likelihood that she would have to go below this level, the California Democrat replied, “Why?”

According to a source who spoke to him, Manchin has privately suggested to his colleagues that $ 1 trillion to $ 1.5 trillion is the price he could accept in the Democrats’ Atonement Act. He has suggested that the 2017 tax law – which he opposed – could be amended to raise enough money to ensure the bill is paid in full, the source said.

However, Manchin has signaled to its leadership that it is ready to negotiate, but that number is a fraction of the $ 3.5 trillion package the party is trying to team up with – and which the Liberals are demanding. The Manchin spokesman declined to comment.

Pelosi was pressed against the price tag on Tuesday over the resistance from Manchin and Sinema, saying, “Well, you need to talk to the Senate about it, but we will pay as much for it as possible.”

The comments underscore the precarious position Democrats find themselves in as they attempt, by the smallest majority, to push through a multi-trillion economic package, a proposal that will dramatically expand the social safety net and increase government spending on key democratic health care priorities would climate change – and raise taxes to pay them. Behind the scenes, Democrats are still struggling to find consensus on a wide variety of issues, including the Medicare expansion called for by progressives.

Pelosi downplayed the differences, arguing that the bill was “transformative” for women in the workplace.

“I’m pretty excited about where we are,” Pelosi said. “Everyone works very hard. The committees do their job. We have a good schedule and I feel very excited.”

But with a 50-50 Senate, Democrats can’t afford to lose a single vote to ensure passage of a $ 3.5 trillion bill as the party embarks on a process known as reconciliation to bypass the 60-vote threshold of the filibuster and instead pass the bill with a simple one. to be adopted by a majority. All Republicans are expected to oppose it.

Manchin and Sinema have made it clear that they will not support a bill with this price tag.

Instead, moderate Democrats have demanded Pelosi allow a vote on the Senate’s $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, which the Chamber approved last month. But progressive Democrats have warned that if Manchin and other moderate senators halt the major reconciliation law, they would sink the infrastructure plan. Pelosi backed the moderate Democrats last month and agreed to vote on the infrastructure bill by Sept. 27. But if the reconciliation proposal hasn’t passed the Senate by then, it’s unclear whether they have the votes to enforce the Infrastructure Act and send it to Biden’s desk.

“That’s the plan,” Pelosi said Tuesday when asked about the September 27 infrastructure vote.

September is a high stakes month for the Biden agenda as Democratic leaders set a deadline for March 15th.

First on CNN: More than 100 Democratic lawmakers enact law to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60The House Natural Resources and Oversight Committees voted last week on their stake in the $ 3.5 trillion package, and House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva of Arizona announced that the committee would have to meet again on his Complete work. A number of House committees are meeting in the coming days to move their individual pieces of the bill forward – including the much-anticipated Committee on Ways and Means, which is responsible for fiscal policy, and Energy and Trade, which is responsible for climate change and health care supervised .

In addition, Congress is faced with a number of other deadlines that threaten to overwhelm the Congress calendar. The end of the month threatens a deadline for government funding, and an unresolved battle over the debt ceiling is just around the corner.

Without a bill to raise the debt ceiling, the US faces a potentially catastrophic debt default. And without a bill to keep the government open until the end of the month, federal agencies would close on October 1st.

Pelosi, who is leaving parliament on Tuesday, wouldn’t say how Democrats will try to tackle the debt ceiling hike – and whether they would try to pair it with a mandatory bill to fund government after September 30th expects Democrats are pegging the government’s funding bill to raise the debt ceiling; Republicans dare to vote against it.

Republicans, meanwhile, are criticizing to say they will not approve an increase – and are calling on Democrats to approve it themselves.

“We’d like to do it non-partisan, of course, it’s always been done,” she told reporters.

Debt ceiling drama is the last thing America's economy needs

Pelosi wouldn’t say whether the Democrats would try to push through a debt ceiling hike as part of the budget reconciliation process that would allow them to do so without GOP votes along straight party lines. The Democrats have rejected the GOP’s calls to go that route, saying that Republicans will have to bear the burden of the politically toxic vote to raise the national credit limit.

“We have several options,” Pelosi said when asked if they would take the direct line of the party line if the Republicans blocked the debt ceiling law.

Pelosi indicated that Tuesday afternoon the White House would forward its request to include programs in the interim funding law known in the Capitol as the Rolling Resolution, or CR.

“So we have reconciliation, infrastructure, CR and somewhere in there we’re going to put a debt ceiling,” she said.

This story was updated with additional reports on Tuesday.

CNN’s Morgan Rimmer and Annie Grayer contributed.

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