Politics

Pelosi Goes After The Media For Not ‘Selling’ Social Spending Package

Screenshot via C-SPAN

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi blamed reporters for not promoting the massive social spending package that Democrats will attempt to pass through the budget reconciliation process.

“I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you,” Pelosi said during her Tuesday press conference, after CBS News’ Nikole Killion asked her if she thought Democrats needed to do a better job explaining various provisions of the bill. Killion cited a CBS News poll that found that only 10% Americans know “a lot of the specifics” of the Build Back Better plan. CBS News and YouGov conducted the poll from Oct. 6-8, surveying 2,054 American adults for a margin of error of 2.6%.

“Every time I come here, I go through the list: family medical leave, climate, the issues that are in there,” Pelosi complained. “But it is true. It is hard to break through when you have such a comprehensive package.”

The poll found that 59% of Americans were aware that Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and left-wing House Democrats proposed $3.5 trillion in new spending, and 58% were aware that the bill included tax increases for higher-income individuals. Forty percent of respondents were aware that it includes a drug price reductions for Medicare recipients, and 40% were aware that it includes Medicare coverage for dental, eye and hearing care. (RELATED: POLL: Build Back Better Act Underwater In Key Swing Districts)

Some of those provisions may be cut from the final package, however, and moderates and left-wing members negotiate the Build Back Better plan’s ultimate size and scope. While left-wing Democrats want $3.5 trillion in new spending, President Joe Biden has indicated that the final package may have a top-line number of between $1.8-2.2 trillion.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has said that he will not vote for a reconciliation package that costs more than $1.5 trillion, citing inflation concerns and increased government spending during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pelosi acknowledged that the final spending amount will likely be negotiated down from the initial $3.5 trillion proposal.

“As we narrow it down and put it out there, one of the things in the bill is the continuation of the Biden tax credit, that is, the child tax credit, that is in the rescue package. That has great appeal. Do people know where it springs from? No, but it is a vast bill. It has a lot in it and we will have to continue to make sure the public does. But whether they know it or not, they overwhelmingly support it, and by the way, women much more than men. Men like the infrastructure,” she continued.