Sen. Joe Manchin (D‑W.Va.) told a group of climate activists and energy executives he’s open to supporting revised Build Back Better legislation narrowly addressing three issues: climate change, prescription drug prices and deficit reduction.
Why it matters: Manchin’s private comments during a closed-door dinner Monday are a clear indication he’s serious about returning to the negotiating table, but for a much smaller version of President Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion proposal, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
His comments at the closed-door dinner, hosted by the American Clean Power Association, the trade association for the renewable energy industry, are consistent with conversations Manchin has had with Senate colleagues.
In those informal talks, he’s outlined a deal that includes roughly $500 billion for climate and $1 trillion in new revenue.
But the senator isn’t indicating any support for universal preschool or any of the other care-economy proposals that were included in Biden’s initial “human infrastructure” package.
And Manchin is insisting on reducing the deficit with at least half of the revenue from new corporate taxes, as well as the estimated savings from allowing Medicare to directly negotiate the cost of prescription drugs.
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