Joe Manchin joined other Senate Democrats in a special caucus meeting Tuesday night on the next steps of the Build Back Better Act, just two days after he said he could not support President Joe Biden's signature bill.
Several sources familiar with the phone have confirmed that Manchin, D-W.Va., Was present.
The meeting, which is about to take place, comes at a critical time in Biden. Manchin's announcement on Sunday that he would not be able to vote on the kind of bill passed by the House has cast doubt on the status quo and has left the White House complaining about rescuing a nearly $ 2 billion package.
“I know we are all frustrated with this result. However, we do not give up BBB. Time. We will not stop working on it until we pass the bill, ”Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, told the meeting, according to a Democratic Alliance source, who added that the call lasted more than 90 minutes.
A source familiar with Manchin's thinking said he listened very carefully and allowed everyone to say his piece. Manchin spoke earlier, strongly emphasizing his concerns about the bill, a source said.
Schumer highlighted the importance of the bill in his remarks, noting that some economists say they will lower their growth forecast if the law does not pass, a source close to the Democratic Alliance said.
"Tonight Senator Manchin had an honest conversation with his most respected colleagues," said Sam Runyon, a Manchin spokesman.
Schumer said on the phone that the Senate would vote on a revised version of the Build Back Better Act and existing laws - if Republicans do not abandon the filibuster - early in the new year. Both efforts are dependent, to a large extent, on Manchin, a Senate of 50-50.
Changing the filibuster rules will allow the vote in the sweeping law to extend access to the ballot box and protect it from being rigged. The law is very important for Biden, the legislators of the Democratic Alliance and the developing lawyers.
Schumer said in a letter to his colleagues on Monday that "the right to vote is fundamental to our democracy," and accused Republicans of using filibuster to protect "rules of voter oppression and electoral fraud" in GOP-led provinces.
"If the Senate Republicans continue to harass the filibuster and prevent the body from considering the bill, the Senate will consider changes in any laws that prevent us from opposing and reaching the conclusion of an important law," he wrote.
These words were too close to Schumer to approve changes in the filibuster to pass electoral reforms. For more than a year, Schumer has carefully traced the issue, saying only that all options are on the table.
The Senate Democrats have a majority of votes to pass the Freedom of Voting Act and the John Lewis Voting Development Act, but Republicans are using filibuster to prevent both debts from continuing. Piercing filibuster, will require 50 votes, which Democrats do not currently have.
Schumer made it clear this week that the Senate would hold a vote, forcing Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Who also supports the 60-vote limit, to declare their positions down.
"Members will be given the opportunity to debate in the Senate and vote to make their choices clear and accessible to all," he wrote in a letter on Monday.
Schumer reiterated his plans to vote at Tuesday's meeting, according to a Democratic Alliance source: "We are now being asked to take action. We are the only ones who can defend our democracy in this attack. ”
Manchin has strongly opposed the so-called nuclear option, which both sides have used in the past to change the Senate rules by a simple majority.
In a letter Monday, Schumer quoted Robert C. Byrd, the late senator in his Manchin chair, as saying that the Senate's earlier rules "should be changed to reflect changing circumstances."