Biden hosts Manchin to discuss finalizing spending bill

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Originally Published: 24 OCT 21 09:14 ET
Updated: 24 OCT 21 14:03 ET

(CNN) — President Joe Biden is hosting critical moderate Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer at his home in Delaware on Sunday in a push to finalize an agreement on a sweeping economic and climate package, a White House official told CNN.

The meeting is unlikely to result in a final deal or even a preliminary agreement on a framework for Democrats to unveil, officials familiar with the meeting said, as a critical week for Biden’s agenda begins. Instead, it’s meant to discuss still-outstanding issues in the talks and hopefully move forward in certain areas where Manchin remains a hold-out, which include climate provisions, Medicare expansion and paid leave.

The President is pressing Democrats to come to an agreement before he departs for Europe this week and has shifted sharply to bring the months-long negotiations to an end in recent days, as Democrats on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue press to clinch a deal on the cornerstone piece of their domestic legislative agenda. The invite was a rare move for Biden; unlike former President Trump, he has not made a habit of inviting lawmakers to his house for meetings.

Manchin’s trip to Delaware was first reported by Politico.

Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has been one of two key holdouts on the package, and has succeeded in scaling back the scope of the bill on several fronts, from the overall cost to key elements ranging from climate provisions to the length and scope of the expanded child tax credit.

But several of Manchin’s concerns have yet to be reconciled, as Democrats battle over key elements like the push for an expansion of Medicare for hearing, vision and dental coverage, as well as a more modest national paid leave program proposal, and whether it will make it into the final proposal, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

The talks were scheduled for the morning at around the same time first lady Jill Biden was departing Wilmington for a policy-focused trip to Michigan.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.

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