WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats should delay President Joe Biden’s signature economic package until later this summer, Sen. Joe Manchin said Friday, a demand that would jeopardize the party’s environment and tax goals and postpone a congressional showdown over the plan until the cusp of November’s elections.
The pivotal West Virginia Democrat told a statewide radio show that if party leaders want to plan votes on the still-emerging measure this month, they should limit it to provisions curbing pharmaceutical prices, extending soon-to-expire federal health care subsidies and reducing federal deficits.
That would mean excluding other top goals the party has pursued under Biden. Those include prompting a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources and paying for its priorities by taxing the wealthiest Americans and companies. Party leaders have hoped to achieve those initiatives in time to flash them before voters ahead of elections in which Republicans could win control of Congress.