President Biden confident ‘Build Back Better’ plan will move forward

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – President Joe Biden says he remains confident he will overcome opposition and get his “Build Back Better” plan moving forward.

The reconciliation bill on Capitol Hill has been held up, in part, by a member of Biden’s own party.

Biden says it’s critical, but Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, continues to push back.

The president says he’ll convince Manchin to vote “yes” on the plan.

“He will vote for this,” Biden said in a news conference. “If we have in this proposal, what he has anticipated, and that is looking at the fine print and the detail of what comes out of the House in terms of the actual legislative initiatives, I believe that Joe (Manchin) will be there.”

“The White House knew exactly where I stood,” Manchin said in an interview. “There was a couple of concerns that we had to work through. And to say that you automatically signed off on things, I’ve been there long enough to know that when you say you signed off on things, you ought to keep your word and I’m not going to be a liar, or make anyone else a liar.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, calls it a major crisis for the country. In an interview with News4Jax, the former Florida governor says inflation and increasing debt are steps in the wrong direction for everyone.

Florida’s junior senator pointed to higher grocery prices and a supply chain problem.

“Look at gas prices. Gas prices are up 55%,” Scott said. “Go fill up your car right now -- I filled up mine the other day -- $55 just to fill up the car, but if you’re filling up an F-150 ... that’s 100 bucks right now. That’s a lot of money to people.”

Pushing back on the president’s plan doesn’t make Manchin a hero to Republicans like Scott.

“I’m glad he said it,” Scott said. “But let’s remember, this is the same Joe Manchin that voted for the $1.9 trillion -- complete waste of money, almost nothing to do with COVID that they did it in April.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer laid out a potential timeline Tuesday. He says the president’s $1.75 trillion social safety net spending plan could be on the Senate floor by Nov. 15.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.