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Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Photos: Drew Angerer; Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Dana Bash's back-to-back interviews with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) this morning on CNN tell you everything you need to know about how far apart these key Democrats remain on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package and infrastructure spending.

Remember: In a 50-50 Senate, Democrats must be unanimous for their plan to pass. But Manchin wants to spend no more than $1.5 trillion.

What they're saying:

Manchin: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer "will not have my vote on $3.5 [trillion] and Chuck knows this. … What’s the urgency?”

Sanders: $1.5 trillion "is absolutely not acceptable to me. I don't think it's acceptable to the president, to the American people, or to the overwhelming majority of the people in the Democratic caucus."

Watch the interviews here and here.

Go deeper

Progressives lash out at Manchin for tanking spending plan

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) drew the ire of Senate and House progressives on Sunday after he announced he will not support President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, essentially sinking the $1.75 trillion spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats, including those who had pre-planned appearances on the Sunday news shows, expressed frustration and feelings of betrayal.

Updated Dec 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House accuses Manchin of betraying "commitments" on BBB

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and then-Vice President Joe Biden interact before Manchin's ceremonial swearing-in on Nov. 15, 2010; also attending are Manchin's mother, Mary, and his wife, Gayle, holding a Bible. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After months of back-and-forth negotiations and overtures from the White House, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) chose an appearance on "Fox News Sunday" to announce he was torpedoing President Biden's signature agenda.

The big picture: The unexpected announcement via the conservative-leaning Sunday morning show just days before Christmas sent fellow Democrats reeling. It infuriated progressives, who'd warned for months of the potential for such an outcome. And it stirred new speculation about the GOP courting a party switch.

Dec 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Manchin blames White House staff for failed negotiations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday blamed White House staff for the breakdown in negotiations over President Biden's Build Back Better agenda and doubled down on his commitment to tanking the bill.

Why it matters: One day after he sent the Democratic Party reeling by announcing he will not support the $1.7 trillion package, Manchin leaned further into his opposition to the bill, making clear he has no plans of reversing course.