Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) looks on during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 15, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

Senate Democrats are likely to miss their self-imposed deadline to pass President Biden’s $1.7 trillion social spending bill by the end of the month and are instead focused on advancing a voting rights bill, according to reports.

Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) has held out on supporting the social spending measure, leaving Democrats short of the 50 votes needed to pass the legislation via budget reconciliation. Sources familiar with planning by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office told NBC News the vote is likely to happen in the new year in part because Senate Democrats haven’t finished negotiating the bill and because they have not yet completed all of the procedural steps necessary to hold a vote.

Two congressional sources told the outlet a vote could be delayed until March, despite Schumer’s public assurances on Wednesday that Biden and Manchin are “having many discussions” and that Democrats are waiting to see the outcome of those conversations. 

CNN’s Manu Raju reports that talks between Manchin and Biden are not going well. The child tax credit has been a huge sticking point as Manchin wants to cut the measure, according to Raju.

Talks between Manchin and Biden are NOT going well on Build Back Better, per source familiar with talks. A huge sticking point: the Child Tax Credit. Manchin wants it cut. Source says he wants to “zero it out.” They are “very far apart,” source says.

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 15, 2021

Other Senate Democrats pushed back against the prospect of cutting the child tax credit.

“It’s not going to get zeroed out,” Senator Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) told Raju. “That’s non-negotiable.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass) said, “We need the child tax credit. It has cut childhood poverty in America by nearly half.”

Manchin said he is not opposed to the child tax credit but would not comment when asked if he wants it cut from the social spending bill and for it to move separately.

Raju asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi if Democrats miscalculated Manchin on the bill and she responded: “I think that this is called the legislative process. And we have our rules than they have their rules. I’m not going to have a post-mortem on something that hasn’t died. I think we will have legislation that will pass.” 

Sources told NBC News Schumer is not yet ready to send the Senate home for the holidays yet. His office said he still plans to hold votes this month on the social spending bill and a voting bill.

Schumer is reportedly eyeing action on voting rights legislation that has failed to secure Republican support, leaving it short of the 60 votes needed to advance.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) told reporters that voting rights “obviously” must be “dealt with immediately.”

“I would like to see a Build Back Better dealt with as quickly as possible, but if we can’t deal with it right now it’s far more important that we deal with the voting rights issue,” he said. 

Senate Democrats are weighing a rule change to allow the voting rights measure to pass with a simple majority. Four moderate Democrats, including Manchin, have met in recent days to discuss a possible rule change, NBC News reported.

Manchin has said he wants any rule change to have bipartisan support and held a meeting this week with a group of Republicans and Democrats to discuss the potential change.

“All of my discussions have been bipartisan, Republicans and Democrats. A rules change should be done to where we all have input in this rules change because we’re going to have to live with it,” Manchin said Tuesday.

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