Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wants to see the $1.9 trillion ''Build Back Better'' budget reconciliation bill come to the Senate floor for a vote by Christmas.
''My goal is to have the Senate debate and pass [President Joe Biden's] Build Back Better legislation before we hit Christmas Day,'' Schumer told reporters Tuesday. ''No one here should expect legislation of this magnitude to be easy.''
Sources told The Hill that Schumer is eyeing the week of Dec. 13 for a floor vote on the bill.
The budget reconciliation bill, containing a wish list geared to the progressive Democratic agenda, including an expansion of healthcare, childcare, free college tuition, and several green energy climate change incentives, was initially introduced in Congress at $3.5 trillion.
A scaled-down version of around $1.9 trillion passed the House on Nov. 19 by a vote of 220-213 along party lines, with all Republicans and just one Democrat opposing the plan.
All 48 Democrats in the Senate, as well as the two independents, will have to support the plan for Vice President Kamala Harris to cast the tiebreaking 51st vote for the bill to succeed and go back to the House for a final vote, and then to Biden's desk for a signature.
A potential roadblock for the bill in the Senate remains votes from centrists Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who have not yet said they will support the current version of the bill.
Both said they would oppose the bill with the higher $3.5 trillion cost.
According to The Hill, Schumer said he has met with Manchin and expects things to move forward.
''We've had a good meeting with Sen. Manchin today,'' Schumer said. ''And we're going to get this bill done with 50 Democrats before Christmas. That's our goal.''
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One that the White House is optimistic the votes will be there in the Senate to get the bill passed by the Christmas holiday, according to The Hill.
''We expect to see action before Christmas,'' Psaki told reporters, The Hill reported. ''That's a positive sign in our view. And so, we will just continue to work in lockstep with his office and with the [Senate] Budget Committee to continue moving this forward to be prepared to go to the floor that week.''
Earlier this month, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which Biden signed into law.
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