Salon, AlterNet – Arizona and West Virginia would stand to gain a great deal from President Biden’s Build Back Better package but holdout Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin — the two “centrist” Democrats who represent those states — still haven’t committed to supporting the plan, even after extracting major concessions. Read the full article.
On Friday, the House passed Biden’s $1.75 trillion package, including climate measures, health care and affordable housing investments, and child care funding. But the bill still faces major changes in the Senate, where Manchin and Sinema have led the charge to gut Biden’s initial $3.5 trillion proposal. Sinema hinted that she still may not be on board with the House version of the bill, telling The Washington Post that it was “not the agreement the president put out in his framework.” Manchin has raised “concerns” for months about the size of the bill, the scope of proposed policy changes and the risks of inflation, calling for the party to delay the bill until next year.
Both senators’ constituencies have a lot to gain in the bill, according to a new report from the progressive advocacy group Accountable.US. Arizona is home to the largest number of Native Americans of any state in the country, and stands to benefit from more than $5 billion in investments in Native communities in Biden’s plan. The plan would also provide more than $4 billion to invest in the country’s national parks, a key issue for Sinema. The proposal would also help alleviate West Virginia’s growing senior care staff shortages, according to another report from the group. And the paid family and medical leave proposal, which Manchin, opposes would be a boon to the 61% of West Virginia workers who have no access to unpaid leave.