Manchin Open to Revised Version of Build Back Better

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he would be open to supporting a limited Build Back Better bill, Axios is reporting.

According to the outlet, Manchin made his comments to a group of climate activists and energy executives during a closed-door dinner on Monday. Manchin reportedly said he would support a bill narrowly addressing climate change, prescription drug prices, and deficit reduction.

“Sen. Manchin is always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward,” said Sam Runyon, communications director for the senator.

“He remains seriously concerned about the financial status of our country, and believes fighting inflation by restoring fairness to our tax system and paying down our national debt must be our first priority,” Runyon continued.

“He has made clear that we can protect energy independence and respond to climate change at the same time,” she added. “He continues to believe we can and must lower the cost of prescription drugs for working Americans.”

Axios noted Manchin’s remarks are consistent with those he has made in conversations with other senators. During those talks he has discussed a deal including about $500 billion for climate and $1 trillion in new revenue.

Earlier this month, The Hill reported Manchin was drafting a dramatically scaled-down counterproposal to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better that would likely include reforms to the tax code and lower prescription drug costs.

The report came after Biden, in his State of the Union speech, tried to resuscitate his plan in a last-ditch effort to get Manchin back to the negotiating table.

”There’s not a proposal, there’s just a conversation,” Manchin said of informal talks with White House officials. ”It just makes all the sense in the world. The one thing that we as Democrats all agreed on was the 2017 tax cuts were weighted unfairly.”

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