Buttigieg: Manchin, Sinema, Quiet On Spending Plan But ‘Closest’ We’ve Been

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday acknowledged the Biden administration doesn’t yet have the support for its $1.7 trillion spending plan from Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. —but it’s the “closest we’ve ever been.”

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Buttigieg said the White House won’t “let Republicans off the hook” for voting on the Build Back Better provisions that directly benefit families.

“We are the closest we have ever been,” he said of backing for the spending plan from the centrist Democrats Manchin and Sinema.

“The president put forward this framework having talked to them and others throughout the progressive and moderate wings of our party confident that it will pass.”

According to Buttigieg, President Joe Biden has been “paying close attention to what members across the party have to say, talking to Republicans. Remember we got a bipartisan vote for the infrastructure part of the deal.”

“I wouldn’t, by the way, let Republicans off the hook on voting for the family provisions too,” he added. “I know they probably won’t but it’s not too late for some of them to join Democrats who are united in believing that the time has come for us to actually put our money where our mouth is. Support American families and do it with a fairer tax code that rewards work not wealth, that asks corporations to pay their fair share, and that makes this a fairer system for everybody.”

Buttigieg argued passage is crucial, and says there’s a “sense of urgency” in the White House.

“We just have to get this done. And I’m not just saying that politically,” he said.

“Look at climate, for example, as we prepare for the summit in Glasgow. We have a very limited number of years to cut emissions dramatically. And the president’s laid out a way to do it that’s actually going to create jobs and break that old false choice of climate versus jobs.”

“We have to do that,” he continued. “We have to deliver for families. The sense of urgency in this administration is part of how our economy has been brought back from the brink, if you think about the bold action in the American Rescue Plan. Now we need bold action to set us up for success, not just getting through the winter but getting through the next decade and beyond.”

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