Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) reportedly told House Democrats this week that she won’t support Democrats’ sweeping reconciliation package until the bipartisan infrastructure bill passes, according to Reuters.
In an online meeting, Sinema and fellow centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told the group that they will not abide by any deadlines imposed by Democratic leadership to force votes on reconciliation.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) set Oct. 31 as a deadline to pass both the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the reconciliation package.
Both Manchin and Sinema continue to put up a fight over the reconciliation package’s $3.5 trillion topline. While Manchin has proposed a topline of $1.5 trillion, Sinema has yet to publicly give numbers or indicate what she will and won’t accept in the reconciliation package.
Some Democratic leaders have suggested that a smaller price tag of $2 trillion would get Manchin and Sinema on board with the sweeping legislation; President Biden speculated last week that the topline may end up in the range of $1.9 trillion to $2.3 trillion.
On Tuesday, Pelosi appeared to embrace the idea of shortening the duration of programs within the reconciliation package rather than nixing any of the provisions altogether, despite suggesting that she would focus on “doing fewer things well” in a “Dear Colleague” letter the day before.
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have refused to negotiate against themselves until they get a better picture of the centrist senators’ demands.
“The time is now long overdue for Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema to tell us exactly … where do they want to cut?” Sanders told reporters during a press call with congressional progressives on Tuesday.