Despite a proclamation over the weekend from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., that he was a “no” on the existing version of Build Back Better Act legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a Dear Colleague letter today that he plans to keep working on the reconciliation legislation until they “get something done.”

Sen. Manchin’s comments over the weekend represented not only a public about-face on his stance toward the legislation but also put in danger the fate of billions in funding for supply chain resiliency and IT modernization, as well as millions for cyber and other tech priorities.

“As we reflect on the first session of the 117th Congress, a session which began with Republicans in the majority but quickly switched to Democratic control by the slimmest of margins and has become the longest 50-50 Senate in history, we should be proud of our accomplishments,” Sen. Schumer wrote. “But this session has also led to moments of deep discontent and frustration. That frustration was evident in the past week as nearly all of us were disappointed by the decision to delay floor consideration of the Build Back Better Act because Senator Manchin could not come to an agreement with the president.”

“However, neither that delay nor other recent pronouncements will deter us from continuing to try to find a way forward. We simply cannot give up. We must and we will keep fighting to deliver for working families,” Sen. Schumer continued.

Sen. Schumer pledged that the Senate will continue working to pass the bill in the new year and that he plans to hold floor votes for a revised version of the fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget reconciliation bill that passed the House in November.

“Senators should be aware that the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television,” Sen. Schumer wrote. “We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act – and we will keep voting on it until we get something done.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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