Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Monday vowed that the Senate will vote on the Build Back Better Act in the new year, saying Democrats will “try to find a way forward” on the legislation after Senator Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) effectively killed the bill one day earlier.
Schumer wrote a letter to Democratic colleagues saying they should be proud of their accomplishments in the first session of the 117th Congress, including the passage of the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, adding that lawmakers should also be “determined to finish the work that remains undone.”
“But this session has also led to moments of deep discontent and frustration,” Schumer wrote. “That frustration was evident in the past week as nearly all of us were disappointed by the decision to delay floor consideration of the Build Back Better Act because Senator Manchin could not come to an agreement with the president.”
Schumer: “Therefore, Senators should be aware that the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.” pic.twitter.com/ZjPjhTQPfF
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 20, 2021
Manchin said Sunday that he “cannot vote to continue with” President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion social spending plan, dashing Democrats’ hopes that the moderate Democrat could be persuaded to support the bill.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.
“You’re done — this is a no,” host Bret Baier said.
“This is a no, on this legislation,” Manchin responded. “I have tried everything I know to do.”
Schumer said Monday neither Manchin’s “delay, nor other recent pronouncements, will deter us from continuing to try to find a way forward.”
The New York Democrat added that Democrats “simply cannot give up.”
Senators “should be aware that the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television,” he added.
“We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act—and we will keep voting on it until we get something done,” Schumer wrote.
Manchin said on Sunday that Biden “has a lot of logs in the fire,” including Covid, inflation and the $29 trillion federal debt.
“That’s where our efforts should be at right now,” the moderate Democrat said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki blasted Manchin on Sunday after he came out against the Build Back Better package, accusing him of performing a “sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position” and of breaching “his commitments” to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Meanwhile, Schumer went on to say that the Senate will also consider voting rights legislation in January, as early as the Senate’s first week back in Washington. He accused Republicans of having “obstructed” earlier attempts to debate the voting rights bill with filibusters.
Schumer slammed Republicans for having “obstructed” previous attempts to debate the legislation with filibusters. He suggested Democrats could look into eliminating the filibuster if Republicans continue to block debate on the bill.
The Senate Majority Leader claimed the filibuster has been “weaponized to allow a minority of senators to prevent the body from mere consideration of legislation.”
“If Senate Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster and prevent the body from considering this bill, the Senate will then consider changes to any rules which prevent us from debating and reaching final conclusion on important legislation,” Schumer said.