Updated Oct 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House touts "progress" after Manchin, Schumer meet with Biden

Schumer, Manchin

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Sen. Joe Manchin at the U.S. Capitol in 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) huddled with President Biden on Sunday morning in Delaware for a "productive discussion" about a deal on Biden's soft infrastructure reconciliation bill, per a White House readout of the meeting.

The latest: "They continued to make progress, will have their staffs work on follow-ups from the meeting, and agreed to stay in close touch with each other and the wide range of members who have worked hard on these negotiations," per the White House.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

  • Much of the divide is centered on final price tag, with Manchin continuing to push for a $1.5 trillion limit.

The big picture: In a closed-door meeting last week, Manchin told Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) he can live without any of the president's social spending plan, Axios' Alayna Treene and Hans Nichols write.

  • Manchin's comfort level with zero as a final number revealed a stark reality for Democratic negotiators: Manchin can control the final dollar amount.

Of note: On the timing of an agreement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday: "I think we're pretty much there now."

Go deeper: Scoop: "How about zero?" Manchin, Sanders get heated behind closed doors

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