In the op-ed, published by The Washington Post, Manchin decried efforts to eliminate the filibuster and also lamented the use of the budget reconciliation process by both parties to pass legislation without the support of senators across the aisle. Under the process, legislation can advance with a majority vote rather than the 60 votes need to advance most bills.
Republicans used the process to pass tax cuts and changes under the Trump administration and in a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Democrats used it to pass Biden’s $1.9 trillion covid relief bill and are viewing it as a vehicle for additional spending and tax proposals on a range of issues, including infrastructure.
Though Manchin voted for the covid relief bill and did not rule out supporting such a legislative maneuver again, he wrote: “I simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the Senate.”
Speaking to CNN on Thursday, Bedingfield said Biden expects “a little bit longer” process on his jobs and infrastructure bill and wants to work with Republicans.
“This is how the process plays out,” she said. “This is how it’s supposed to work. Senators raise their issues and concerns, and we’ll work through the process. I mean, President Biden has said himself many times that his preference is to do this through regular order.”
“The only thing that is unacceptable to him is inaction,” she added. “So he’s ready to work through the process.”
Asked what specifically the White House has done about Manchin, Bedingfield said, “We have done a lot of outreach.”
“I assure you there is a lot of conversation between not only Senator Manchin’s office and the White House but members all across the Hill,” she said.
Asked when the last time Biden and Manchin spoke, Bedingfield declined to say.
“I don’t have specific details of a conversation to read out to you,” she said.