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Manchin suggests pausing talks on $3.5 trillion package until 2022: report



Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has suggested pausing discussions on a $3.5 trillion spending package until 2022 as the House gets ready to vote on a bipartisan deal next week, Axios reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Manchin has publicly suggested a “strategic pause” in talks over the legislation, but hadn’t suggested a specific timeline.

Manchin suggested pausing until next year while talking with workers in Martinsburg, West Virginia last week, and has made similar comments in private, Axios reported.

The Hill has reached out to Manchin’s office for comment.

Earlier this month, Manchin said he wanted to press “pause” on the legislation filled with Democrat priorities, both while speaking at a West Virginia Chamber of Commerce event and in an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal.

“Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation. A pause is warranted because it will provide more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic, and it will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not,” Manchin wrote.

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“I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs,” Manchin later added.

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