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President Joe Biden was forced to reduce the cost of his spending plan from the original $3.5 trillion to around $2 trillion, hoping to convince moderates in his party to support it.
Biden acknowledged on Tuesday that the cost of his reform will be “less” than he initially proposed, and he hoped that will convince the two Democratic senators who have opposed the idea of investing $3.5 trillion in that plan, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
“It looks like (Manchin) is changing his position, I hope that’s the case,” the president told reporters after visiting a union training center in Howell, Michigan.
According to The Washington Post and The New York Times, the president said in meetings Friday and Monday with Democratic lawmakers that he expected his spending plan to ultimately cost between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion, a huge drop from his initial $3.5 trillion proposal.
Biden did not expressly confirm the new figures on Tuesday, but he did make it clear that he has accepted that he will not be able to reach the initial cost he came up with for that reform.
According to the Post, Biden’s new proposal has not satisfied the progressive wing of his party, whose leader in the Lower House, Pramila Jayapal, advocated a minimum of $2.5 trillion.
Although that number does not match the one suggested by the president, it is a sign that the White House has managed to bring the progressives, who last week would not budge from the initial $3.5 trillion, closer to their positions.
On the moderate side, Manchin said on Tuesday that he does not “rule out” approving the range of about $2 trillion proposed by Biden, even though he originally claimed that the maximum he would agree to spend was $1.5 trillion.