President Biden said January 19 that he was willing to break up his Build Back Better (BBB) plan into manageable "chunks" to see what could pass now, and return later in the year in hope of passing what remains. He also acknowledged that the enhanced Child Tax Credit, free community college, paid leave, and other BBB provisions would likely have to be jettisoned.
"It's clear to me we'll have to probably break it up," Biden said of the nearly $1.7 trillion bill. "I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now, come back, and fight for the rest later."
It's not clear what pieces could pass, but climate change provisions have been mentioned as one possibility as they have the backing of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, who helped block the entire package from coming up for a vote.
"One lesson we learned in the first year is, I think, the less we talk about our negotiations with specific senators and congressmen, the better we are so I'm going to say our talks with Sen. Manchin will proceed directly and privately," Klain told the Wall Street Journal.
Further complicating the administration's efforts to start advancing parts of the BBB is the Senate's need to pass an omnibus spending bill before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires February 18 and federal funding runs out. Ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee Richard Shelby, R-AL, warned that working on the BBB would disrupt the omnibus spending bill negotiations and force Congress to pass another CR to keep government agencies open.BACK TO LIST