Sinema, Manchin Meeting With Biden Amid Concerns Over Hefty Reconciliation Package

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden is meeting with Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Wednesday to discuss their issues with the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.

Sinema was seen arriving at the White House on Wednesday morning, according to a photograph from a CNN producer and reporter. Manchin will meet with the president in the evening, CNN’s chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported. Both Sinema and Manchin have expressed concerns with the package’s large spending goal.

Manchin spoke to CNN on Sunday and assured Americans that he will not support the $3.5 trillion price point. The West Virginia senator suggested he’d support a bill in the $1 to $1.5 trillion range – but only if it kept a “globally competitive” tax code.

“The numbers they’re wanting to pay for it and the tax changes they want to make, is that competitive?” Manchin wondered. “Does it keep us competitive or not? I believe there are some changes made that do not keep us competitive.”

Sinema has repeatedly vowed not to support the bill and doesn’t appear to be willing to negotiate, as Politico previously reported. The two senators were involved in curating the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Sinema’s spokesperson John LaBombard called “a historic win for our nation’s everyday families and employers.”

Sinema believes the bipartisan bill, which Democrats have threatened to hold up in an effort to pass the more-partisan reconciliation package, “should be considered on its own merits,” LaBombard added.

The bill includes provisions for child care, Medicare expansions, paid-for higher education and various climate change measures. Many of these are considered a win for Democrats and Republicans vehemently oppose its passage. Sinema and Manchin could be key to passing the budget reconciliation, which needs the simple majority in order to make it to Biden. (RELATED: Congress Faces An Absolutely Brutal September Filled With High-Stakes Deadlines)