Senate Democrats abandon efforts to pass Biden’s social spending bill this yr

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US Senate Democrats are abandoning efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate bill this year, delivering a political blow to the White House, local media reported.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, a Bloomberg report said on Thursday that the delay risks solidifying the intra-party divide on the legislation, which many Democrats consider key heading into the 2022 midterm elections, reports Xinhua news agency.

Progressives and moderates have disagreed publicly on the size and scope of the package for months, although House Democrats were able to pass its version of the bill last month, the report said.

Passage of the bill in the Senate will require unanimous support from the Democratic caucus, but Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the key moderate Democratic senator, has yet to give his full public support.

Days of private talks between Manchin and Biden still have produced no truce, illustrating the widening gap between the moderate lawmaker and many in his party, according to The Washington Post.

Manchin has raised concerns for months that the $2 trillion package could add to higher inflation and debt.

“Make no mistake, we must get our fiscal house in order, and I am committed to making sure we are not spending beyond our means,” Manchin said on Tuesday in a statement.

The US consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.8 per cent in November from a year earlier, the fastest annual pace in almost 40 years, according to the Labour Department.

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