White House Quiet On New “Build Back Better” Agenda

(RepublicanInformer.com)-  There hasn’t been much talk about President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better package since it failed miserably late last year, and apparently, that’s by design.

Politico recently reported that White House officials are remaining quiet on details of the BBB package and negotiations to get enough Democrats in the Senate on board so the liberals can pass the package using budget reconciliation.

In effect, Politico reported that the Biden administration has placed essentially a gag order over officials who are involved in the negotiation and crafting processes. They want to keep things close to the vest as they work to try to get the president’s biggest domestic agenda passed before the midterm elections later this year.

At a recent event, the director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, told reporters:

“I would quite explicitly not comment on the conversations that are happening. I don’t think that has served anyone particularly well.”

Last year, the Biden administration pushed hard to get enough Democratic senators on board with his social spending bill so they could push the package through Congress using budget reconciliation. However, even after trimming the package down from $3 trillion to $1.7 trillion, the White House still couldn’t get moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on board.

The negotiations finally ended back in December when Manchin said he wouldn’t be able to support many of the initiatives that were included in the BBB plan.

The senator from West Virginia said recently that he’s willing to open up negotiations again. His colleagues are saying, though, that what’s in the bill is really up to him, so he might even need to take a role in writing the bill — since he’s the lone holdout among Democrats in Congress.

The approach that Biden is taking with BBB this time around is to assure the public that he and his top officials are working toward a deal that would effectively lower both inflation and the national deficit.

But, that’s about all the president is saying. He’s not touting specific policies that he wants included in a social spending package like he did last time around when he frequently discussed programs for children and parents, healthcare or climate change.

White House officials are saying that this approach is being taken so as to not publicly announce initiatives the president wants that Manchin could end up rejecting in the end anyway.

It’s widely expected that Manchin would indeed support a reconciliation package that ends up reducing the deficit and passing some new initiatives. For the Democrats, a trimmed-down bill might be the only avenue to passage, even if they’d like a package with a bigger impact in advance of November’s midterm elections.

What Deese did say is that there are some “practical” initiatives included in the new version of the BBB, including lowering costs of utility bills and prescription drugs that nearly all voters could get behind.

There’s still going to be a mountain to climb to get both Manchin and fellow moderate Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema on board.

As the director of the Center for Funding America’s Future, Ben Ritz, recently commented:

“There is a clear deal to be had here that (Biden’s) laid out that meets just a few basic criteria. One of the big questions will be if everybody is on the same page about what that means.”