A Festivus for the Democrats?

A Festivus for the Democrats?

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

Festivus isn’t until tomorrow, but Cowen Washington Research Group analyst Chris Krueger writes that Senate Democrats started celebrating early, using a private caucus call on Tuesday night for an airing of grievances over their $1.7 trillion climate and social policy plan and Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement Sunday that he can’t support the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly reiterated to his members that he plans to hold a floor vote on the Build Back Better (BBB) bill next month, forcing Manchin to officially give a thumbs-down to the package.

“I know we are all frustrated at this outcome,” Schumer said, according to Politico. “However, we are not giving up on BBB. Period. We won’t stop working on it until we pass a bill.”

Manchin reportedly also addressed his fellow Democrats and again laid out his concerns, saying that his position has been the same for five months. “Manchin also called for a greater focus on tax rates, adding that the rich need to pay more in taxes, and said the Department of Veterans Affairs should negotiate drug pricing,” Politico’s Marianne LeVine reports.

The bottom line: Democrats will work on building back their Build Back Better bill. Krueger suggested in a note to clients that a revised version of the legislation could be centered on four elements: expanded Affordable Care Act subsidies, universal pre-k, climate provisions and tax increases to offset the cost of proposed new spending. “We believe something will emerge and be enacted into law by the Memorial Day Recess,” he wrote, “though it is an impossibly fluid situation.”

The process, he added, will likely see Democrats spend months on another Festivus tradition: “Feats of Strength between Biden, House & Senate Democrats.”