Biden calls out Manchin and Sinema for holding up his agenda

Biden calls out Manchin and Sinema for holding up his agenda

Although Democrats control the White House and both branches of Congress, their majority in the U.S. Senate is razor-thin — so thin that either Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona can easily make or a break a bill. And when a reporter, on Monday, asked President Joe Biden why his Build Back Better agenda was being held up, he cited those centrist Democrats as the main reason.

"Why are you unable, Mr. President, to close the deal with members of your own party on key parts of your legislative agenda last week?" the reporter asked Biden during a press conference. And the president, with a laugh, responded, "I've been able to close the deal with 99% of my party."

Holding up two fingers, Biden humorously but matter-of-factly added, "Two. Two people are still on their way. I don't think there's been a president who's been able to close deals that's been in a position where he has only 50 votes in the Senate and a bare majority in the House. It's a process. It's a process. We'll get it done."

The "two people" Biden was referring to were obviously Manchin and Sinema, who played a key role in negotiating a $1 trillion infrastructure deal with GOP senators but has said she will not vote to spend $3.5 trillion on a separate "human infrastructure" bill that progressives in Congress have been pushing for.

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