The U.S. Congress is packing it in for 2021 with Democrats having failed to agree among themselves to move President Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had set a Christmas deadline to pass a bill the U.S. House cleared on November 19. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues to raise concern over inflation and programs passed as temporary becoming permanent. Sources indicate 49 other Senators are willing to vote yes, which is enough to send the bill to the White House. After months of negotiations among themselves, however, Democrats could not find a path forward ahead of their self-imposed deadline.
The U.S. House is slated to return to Washington, D.C. after the holiday season on Jan. 10, 2022, the same date the Department of Labor will release the monthly inflation numbers. Most on Capitol Hill do expect negotiations to pick up again, but it remains unclear whether the legislation, which includes billions in spending on social programs long a priority for Democrats, can pass. While some are touting legislative victories this year on the American Rescue Plan and the infrastructure law, failure to pass Build Back Better is certainly not the Christmas present progressive Democrats were hoping for this season.