Headline RoundupSeptember 30th, 2021

Manchin Doubles Down on $1.5 Trillion Limit for Democrats' Budget Reconciliation Bill

AllSides Summary

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doubled down Thursday on a $1.5 trillion maximum for Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill, which was previously expected to spend $3.5 trillion over the next ten years. Manchin called the $3.5 trillion figure “fiscal insanity” in a Wednesday statement, arguing that “we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare.” On Thursday, a leaked memo revealed that Manchin had proposed a deal to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in July to limit the bill to $1.5 trillion. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema also reiterated her opposition to a $3.5 trillion figure on Thursday. Manchin and Sinema’s statements sparked renewed criticism from other Democrats, some of whom reiterated threats to block the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless progress was made on the budget reconciliation bill. In the face of unanimous Republican opposition, Democrats need Manchin and Sinema’s votes to pass any version of their budget bill. 

Coverage of Manchin, Sinema, and Democratic infighting dominated news outlets across the spectrum on Thursday. Some coverage across the spectrum used sensational words like “sweeping” to describe the budget reconciliation bill, with some right-rated outlets emphasizing its size through words like “astronomical.”

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