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In face of opposition, Biden says 'we must get Build Back Better passed'

Joe Biden
Posted at 7:18 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 19:21:54-05

President Joe Biden is not giving up on the Build Back Better Act.

Democrats had wanted to get the bill passed in the Senate by Christmas. However, that appears unlikely due to opposition from Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

In a statement Thursday, Biden said he and Manchin have engaged in productive discussions, which will continue into next week.

"It takes time to finalize these agreements, prepare the legislative changes, and finish all the parliamentary and procedural steps needed to enable a Senate vote," Biden said.

Biden did not place the blame on Manchin. Instead, he called out Republicans.

"Not a single Republican is willing to move forward on the bill – I am determined to see this bill enacted into law, to give America’s families the breathing room they deserve," Biden stated.

The House version of the bill aims to limit childcare costs for working families, provide four weeks of paid family leave for new parents, cap drug prices for older Americans, and reduce eldercare costs. The bill would also fund new climate change initiatives.

The $1.7 trillion in funding would be paid for by new taxes on the wealthiest Americans and increased taxes on corporations.

Some of those provisions could change if it gets through the Senate.

In addition to passing Build Back Better, Biden said lawmakers must pass voting rights legislation.

"I had a productive conversation today with several senators about how we can get this vital legislation passed," Biden said. "Our democracy is at stake."