LIVE – Updated at 15:39
US president to deliver a speech, after Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin made it clear that they will not support changing the filibuster.
The monthly checks from the expanded child tax credit program would have gone out today – if congressional Democrats had been able to pass their Build Back Better bill to extend the program.
Instead, millions of American families will have to go without the money this month because Democrats were unable to pass the $1.75tn spending package due to objections from Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat of West Virginia.
Announcing his opposition last month, Manchin expressed concern about the cost of the legislation, saying, “I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight.”
But for the thousands of families in West Virginia who had come to rely on the checks, Manchin’s stance means they will have to find another way to balance their budgets this month.
According to the West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy, 50,000 children in the state are at risk of falling into poverty now that the checks have come to an end.
Read Zack Harold’s story about the impact that the checks have had on West Virginia families:
Video: Senator Manchin Says ‘No’ to Biden’s Spending Bill (Bloomberg)
Politico has some details on what happened behind closed doors yesterday, as Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats to discuss filibuster reform and voting rights.
Even as Democrats filed into their caucus meeting with Biden about changing Senate rules to reform federal elections, a response to GOP-backed state laws designed to restrict ballot access, a good portion of them were unaware they had already lost. Just minutes before the group’s meeting with Biden, [Kyrsten Sinema] slammed the door on weakening the filibuster during a speech on the Senate floor Biden once called home.
‘People were just surprised when we went in there. Because no one knew she was on the floor speaking’ in defense of the filibuster, said a Democratic senator who missed Sinema’s remarks. ‘There were probably 20 people in there that didn’t even know that she had said anything.’
Biden had prepared remarks for the meeting but instead opted to speak off-the-cuff, recalling that he got the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) to support the Voting Rights Act while they were both in Congress and arguing that a majority of today’s Republicans today wouldn’t support that landmark bill. Biden told senators he couldn’t remember a time in U.S. history where a party had been so enthralled to one person as the GOP is to former President Donald Trump.
Joe Biden held a meeting with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema at the White House last night for another discussion on filibuster reform and voting rights.
The White House described the three Democrats’ conversation as “a candid and respectful exchange of views about voting rights”.
Both Biden and Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer will likely still try to sway Manchin and Sinema on changing the filibuster, in the hopes of getting a voting rights bill passed before the midterms.
But Manchin and Sinema have sounded quite adamant that they will not support rule changes to get a voting rights bill passed, so Biden and Schumer will have their work cut out for them.
Kyrsten Sinema took to the Senate floor yesterday opposing any changes to the filibuster, the Senate rule that requires 60 votes to advance legislation, while Democrats currently hold a bare majority in the 100-seat chamber and two voting rights bills are stalled.
“While I continue to support these [voting rights] bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” she said.
She added: “We must address the disease itself, the disease of division, to protect our democracy, and it cannot be achieved by one party alone. It cannot be achieved solely by the federal government. The response requires something greater and, yes, more difficult than what the Senate is discussing today.”
Sinema’s speech came at an extremely perilous moment for US democracy. Republican lawmakers in 19 states have enacted 34 new laws, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, that impose new voting restrictions.
They have also passed a slew of bills that seek to inject more partisan control into election administration and the counting of votes, an unprecedented trend experts are deeply concerned about and call election subversion.
Many of those measures have been passed in state legislatures on simple majority, party-line votes.
Biden to tout infrastructure law after major defeat on voting rights
Greetings from Washington, live blog readers.
Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver a speech this afternoon on the bipartisan infrastructure law, which he signed in November.
The remarks will focus on how the law “will rebuild America’s bridges, which are critical for getting to school and work, moving commerce, and connecting communities,” according to the White House.
The speech comes one day after Biden was dealt a major defeat by two members of his own party in the debate over voting rights and filibuster reform.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin made it clear yesterday that they will not support changing the filibuster, leaving Democrats with no path for passing a voting rights bill.
Simultaneously, Biden’s Build Back Better bill has also stalled in the Senate due to Manchin’s objections to the $1.75tn spending package.
So, as Biden touts the infrastructure law today, keep in mind that it may be his last significant legislative accomplishment for the time being.
The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Source: Thanks msn.com