Sen. Joe Manchin signals willingness to support revised Build Back Better plan, a new report says

Sen. Joe Manchin signals willingness to support revised Build Back Better plan, a new report says
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Sen. Joe Manchin said he is open to negotiating a revised Build Back Better plan, Axios reported.
  • The moderate Democrat came out in opposition to Biden's economic agenda late last year.

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he is open to supporting a revised, narrow version of President Joe Biden's stalled Build Back Better legislation, Axios reported Thursday.

The moderate Democrat reportedly made the comments during a closed-door dinner with climate activists and energy executives held by the American Clean Power Association on Monday, saying he could support a plan that focuses on climate change, prescription drug prices, and deficit reduction.

Manchin's comments suggest he might return to the bargaining table to settle on a smaller version of the $2 trillion proposal he tanked late last year. Axios reported that the stance he shared Monday is similar to conversations he has had with other senators.

Manchin's informal proposal includes approximately $500 billion for climate and $1 trillion in new revenue, as well as new corporate taxes that would, in part, help reduce the deficit, according to the Axios report. Estimated savings from letting Medicare negotiate the cost of prescription drugs directly would also go toward bringing down the deficit, Axios reported.

The senator's proposed plan, however, does not contain any support for universal preschool or other "human-infrastructure" tenets included in the original package.


In early February, Manchin shut down rumors that negotiations on the spending bill were ongoing, telling reporters that the agenda was "dead." But Axios reported that his office is considering new legislative proposals.

Sam Runyon, a spokesperson for his office told Insider that Manchin is "always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward," though she noted that the senator remains "seriously concerned" about the country's financial status and paying down the national debt.

"He has made clear that we can protect energy independence and respond to climate change at the same time," Runyon said. "We must maintain energy independence by advancing an all-of-the-above energy policy to continue producing energy cleaner than anywhere else in the world."

"Additionally, he continues to believe we can and must lower the cost of prescription drugs for working Americans to ensure no family has to choose between life-saving medications and putting food on the table," the representative added.

The centerpiece of Biden's economic agenda was passed by the House in November, but the package has stalled for months in the Senate. Even with Manchin's support for a revised bill, the legislation would still likely face an uphill battle in the 50-50 chamber.