Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) advised Congress to focus on “conventional” infrastructure, throwing a massive monkey-wrench into President Joe Biden’s massive undertaking, according to The Hill.
The West Virginia Democrat spoke to reporters at a press conference with other elected officials from both parties, including Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). During his comments, Manchin said that Congress should take the Biden administration plan “step by step” and do what would garner bipartisan support.
“What we think the greatest need we have now, that can be done in a bipartisan way, is conventional infrastructure whether it’s the water, sewer, roads, bridges, Internet — things that we know need to be repaired, be fixed,” Manchin said.
“Why don’t you take the greatest need that we have and do it on something that we all agree on?” Manchin added, addressing Biden’s $2.3 trillion proposal that includes funding for in-home care, housing, clean energy, public schools and manufacturing.
According to Manchin the plan is “conceptual” and said that there should be a divide between “conventional” and “human” infrastructure.
Manchin isn’t the only Democrat asking for the mammoth bill to be broken up. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), who is considered a close ally of Biden, has indicated that he might wish to adjust the plan down to a more achievable form.
Manchin, however, is the most conservative member of the Senate Democrats in a house that is split 50-50, with a Democrat leader.
Republicans have put together a $568 billion counteroffer that focuses on roads and bridges, public transit systems, rail, wastewater infrastructure, airports and broadband infrastructure, according to The Hill.