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Pelosi Says Infrastructure Vote Is On, Despite Worries It Will Fail; Any Minute Senator Joe Manchin Speaks Outside Capitol; Manchin Floats $1.5 Trillion Price Tag For Package; Manchin: Infrastructure Is Desperately Needed; Manchin: I've Had Conversations With Biden. Aired 12-12:30p ET
Aired September 30, 2021 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN KING, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm John King in Washington. Thank you for sharing your time with us on a very interesting day.
It is decision day for President Biden and his party. At this moment, no deal, no breakthrough and no apparent progress on settling a family feud over a massive Democratic spending plan. The House speaker says she will proceed with the vote today on a smaller infrastructure bill despite the risk it might fail because liberals want that bigger agreement before they vote yes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think you're going to vote on infrastructure bill today?
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): That's our plan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems that there's insurmountable opposition at the moment?
PELOSI: Please, hour by hour. You're moment by moment. I'm hour by hour.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Plus, the January 6th Committee sends a flurry of new subpoenas. Lawmakers want documents and testimony from the Trump allies who organized the rally that then spiraled into deadly insurrection. And the CDC puts pregnant women on alert the message, get vaccinated against COVID now or put you and your baby at risk.
First for us, though, what Nancy Pelosi calls the fun part, the House Speaker today staying trademark upbeat that despite giant doubts about the path ahead for Democrats and for the Biden agenda, there is a House vote scheduled tonight on a big infrastructure bill?
As of now, the Speaker says that vote is odd. But as of now that bill would likely fail because many House liberals say they will vote no unless there is an agreement first, on a bigger Democratic spending package. Urgent talks continue.
The differences are giant but Speaker Pelosi promises there will be an agreement on what President Biden calls his build back better plan. She just can't say when which guarantees the day of high drama.
We start our coverage with our Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju, our Chief White House Correspondent, Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly. Let's go first to Capitol Hill and Manu Raju Manu, a lot of drama and unpredictability?
MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, no question about it. In fact, we're about to hear any minute from Senator Joe Manchin, who is of course the key voice in all this. And one big reason why today's vote in the House could go down because progressives in the House want people likes Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema.
The two Democratic moderate Senators to actually agree that larger plan, that social safety net plan that they've been negotiating for months to try to come to some sort of agreement that Manchin says there's virtually no way there's in fact, no way he can get to a place where he can sign off on something and certainly nothing that he can sign off that can get support from the progressive.
The progressive or is threatening to sink that bipartisan infrastructure deal that Joe Manchin himself worked on and help cut along with Kyrsten Sinema because they believe that blocking that plan can be used as leverage to get Manchin to sign on debt larger deal, so we'll have a chance to hear what he has to say.
But he has been very clear about his concerns for weeks, including his statement last night going after this plan. But John at the moment, Nancy Pelosi is still suggesting that they're going to have that vote on that bipartisan plan tonight. Will she actually go forward with it?
She does not like to lose on the floor. So expected her to pull this if the votes aren't there at the moment, John, the votes are simply not there.
KING: Simply not there. Manu Raju on the hill we'll come back to you and hear from Senator Manchin in just a few moments. Let's get to Phil Mattingly now at the White House. Phil, the action is on Capitol Hill. But this is the President of the United States and his agenda at play here. President behind the scenes making phone calls, so they're just waiting this out to see what how this day plays out?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The former and I think the president has made very clear whatever Speaker Pelosi needs in this moment in time whatever Majority Leader Chuck Schumer needs whatever Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema need he is willing to provide it over the course of the last 48 hours.
It's been hours of staff meetings with Senator Sinema. My colleague Kaitlan Collins reports she spoke to Senator Manchin last night by phone obviously there have been a series of meetings over the course of the last several days and they were expected to continue at least by phone over the course of the morning.
I think one thing to keep in mind when it comes to how the president approaches this moment in time. He has implicit trust and Speaker Pelosi and he's never going to go in a different direction than she's going. She's made very clear, at least for the morning, the direction she's headed, and the White House is not going to diverge from that point. But they're also very clear about where things stand John?
KING: Phil Mattingly at the White House keep us posted if things happen in the hour ahead with me in studio to share their reporting and their insights "POLITICO's" Heather Caygle, Toluse Olorunnipa of "The Washington Post", Margaret Talev, of AXIOS and NPR's Asma Khalid.
Heather Caygle, let me start with you. The Hill is your beat. Let's listen to the Speaker just moments ago. She's bringing first a resolution to the floor to keep the government open, and then the plan is to bring this infrastructure bill to the floor knowing that a good number of her fellow liberals will revolt if she does. So if they don't have the bigger deal. Yet the Speaker says all good.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PELOSI: I think we're in a good place right now we're making progress. I can't stay here too long because I have to deal with step by step with this but I'm only envisioning taking it up and winning it. I do not plan on not doing anything. I plan on moving forward in a positive way. We're on a path to win the boat. I don't want to even consider any options other than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: That's her trademark and as part of her strategy, stay upbeat, but --
HEATHER CAYGLE, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, POLITICO: But the votes are there right now right? And everything in Pelosi's mantra of governing her main idea is I will not bring a bill to the floor that loses that does not have the votes.
So she will try to wear everyone down over the next several hours and twist arms and do what she can to get people to guess. But if push comes to shove, after they vote to fund the government, and she does not have the votes, I think she will pull the bill.
As we're at this table right now, though, she is meeting with Pramila Jayapal, the Leader of the progressives, and several of these moderate Democrats, including Stephanie Murphy; they're all in her office right now together. So I think a lot of us are hoping that if anything does change, it will come after this meeting. And that's what we're waiting to see that and whenever Joe Manchin says it says.
MARGARET TALEV, MANAGING EDITOR, AXIOS: I think Heather just says something really important, which is after they fund the resolution to keep the government, that's really important.
Why would you throw blood in the water for Republicans who are still going, you know, amendment by amendment in the Senate now, then it goes to the House like, they've only got till midnight, it's - it's a failure for both parties, but particularly the Democrats in charge if the government were to shut down. She's got to get order of business number one off the table and out of the way first, before she pulls the bill or a miracle material.
KING: Solve one problem, and then move on to the other problem. You could solve that problem if you could reach at least the framework of an agreement with the two Senate Democrats who are key here, Kyrsten Sinema, and Joe Manchin. We have a photo of them; they were next to each other with each other before some votes earlier today.
Senator Sinema who's met with the White House, you know, more times than you can count this past week says, talks have been productive, and they're making progress. But is there - there's nobody in this town? Who thinks they're going to have an even a framework, right?
We've agreed to spend the House Democrats want 3.5 trillion, let's say, agreed to spend $2 trillion. And we've agreed that these programs will be part of it, that was might satisfy enough progressives, we're not going to get there today, right?
TOLUSE OLORUNNIPA, POLITICAL INVESTIGATIONS & ENTERPRISE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: It doesn't seem like it. And it's really a matter of shuttle diplomacy; you have to have some of the moderates going over to the White House. And you have to have, you know, Speaker Pelosi and members of the White House staff going back to the progressives and saying is this enough for you?
Are you going to be willing to take this olive branch or this framework or this number, and they haven't gotten to that point yet, where the progressives have been able to say, we're not going to take this bipartisan bill. We're willing to accept this.
We're willing to keep the negotiation that's going and part of it is the lack of trust, there's not really the trust that if they pass this bipartisan bill, and that, you know, the progressives give the - give the moderates and some Republicans what they want. But you know, the moderates won't say, OK, we've done enough; we can campaign on this in West Virginia and Arizona.
We built bridges and fixed roads and you know the president has done his infrastructure deal. And then the soft infrastructure and the various parts of the expansion of the social safety net will get left by the wayside. And that's really the concern for a lot of progressives.
ASMA KHALID, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, NPR: Challenges are for Democrats. And I think this is why we saw leadership initially try to tie these bills together is there is definitely I would say an accurate understanding that you really do need two parts of this to energize your base. You know, Michigan, you generally are that I'm struck as a sort of longtime campaign reporter, newer Washington reporter, but just how popular some of these social safety nets programs are amongst both Republican and Democratic base voters?
Like you look at polling, expanding Medicare, expanding the child tax credit, these are objectively popular ideas you hear in Washington, you know, there has not been able to be reached consensus on it.
KING: In part because Joe Manchin comes from a very different place than say Ilhan Omar or Nancy Pelosi comes from a different place than Kyrsten Sinema. So these Democrats have legitimate concerns about what can I sell back home?
But you mentioned these are very popular programs. What has been fascinating is and look this is a big package. A lot of the people involved have never tried no one in my lifetime has tried to do anything this big here in Washington is but how messy it has been?
Joe Manchin is about to have a press conference right to essentially robot Nancy Pelosi. Last night he issued a statement calling it fiscal insanity to do what the House liberals want to do. A normally a family tries to work out its differences in private.
The Democrats are doing this in a very messy public way. Ilhan Omar, for example says to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, you don't want 3.5 trillion, put it up, what would you spend? What would you cut?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): What do they want to cut? Do they want to cut childcare for families that desperately needed? Do they want to not address the climate crisis? We can't have a conversation about a top line number, when we've already done the math, and it added up to 3.5.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TALEV: I mean, in fairness, it's not actually cutting anything. It's just adding less but by way of context, $3.5 trillion like there's two comparison points. And I would say one of them is two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We know those around somewhere in the ballpark of $2 trillion.
The other is the 2017 Republican Donald Trump tax cut, just a little bit norths of $2 trillion. So even if you took half of what the Democrats are swinging for the fences on it would be at once massive and substantial and also comparable to what Republicans have done in recent years to increase the debt ceiling projection?
TALEV: So I think like somewhere in that space is where a negotiation would happen, if anyone was in the mood to negotiate, but like the water just hasn't boiled yet. It says you were looking at the clock, they get OK, well, and it's not a real deadline, the way that the continuing - the way, the shutdown is a real deadline. That's midnight tonight.
And it's the end of the fiscal year and you know everything turns into a pumpkin. The only reason that today is the deadline for the infrastructure stuff is because that was supposedly the negotiation between the moderates and the progressives is obvious now that this is just like - together. I mean, it can, it could wait till next week, if there was still momentum next week.
KING: That's the key question. A lot of people think OK, however, they'll say you have the vote and it fails or you pull the vote or a lot of people say that's OK, we'll get back in the room and we'll continue to figure it out. But there are others who say, that just blows it up. It causes more chaos. It causes more doubt more mistrust.
We will see. Again, we're waiting to hear from one of the key voices Joe Manchin up on Capitol Hill, we'll go there and next how to break the Senate logjam over the Biden agenda? A leading senate progressive joins us with her view on when to stand your ground and when to compromise for the good of the party?
KING: Nancy Pelosi today praising the big Democratic spending bill is full of vital investments and things like childcare, Pre-K, healthcare. Joe Manchin calls it fiscal insanity, and we're going to hear from him any moment now up on Capitol Hill. Let's go to CNN's Manu Raju, who's standing by up on Capitol there, Senator Manchin, let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): OK, Who's first? You're always first.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's your - what's your expectation? And what's your message to progressive who worry that, you know, this isn't going to come together?
MANCHIN: It's got to come together; we have a real good piece of legislation and sober in the House right now. We really had two good pieces of legislation. An infrastructure bill is so desperately needed all over our country. We all work on that if you want to hear bipartisan, we have - you see a bill over there turning $50 billion that would really help us compete with China, not let them get ahead of us. Those are two tremendous pieces of legislation.
And the other piece of legislation which they have, which is the reconciliation bill, we can maybe work something out. I've said where I'm at, you know, the bottom line is this. I think that we basically should be starting and making sure our priorities are put in the proper place.
First of all, we know the taxes, we know the taxes as all Democrats, we voted against the tax cuts of 2017. That should be the first thing that we'll be able to agree on a tax, a tax improvement that basically makes fair and equitable, fair and equitable. That's all we're talking about.
And then see where we stand. I brought the 1.5 as you're seeing I think by now the 1.5 was always done from my heart, basically what we could do not jeopardize - not jeopardize our economy. I asked for the strategic pause because after that, then we basically had COVID coming back at us and we have all the unknowns right now, especially with what the financial fallout might be or the geopolitical Fallout, excuse me.
The geopolitical Fallout that might come from the Afghanistan departure and also inflation give you a perfect example, in West Virginia, I just saw the day to where the where the $1, I would call a general dollar store. Dollar General. They're not - they're no longer Dollar General.
Now gone a quarter dollar 50 cent General, that's hard for West Virginians, a lot of people do shop there, it's all they have. We have to take all this in consideration. We have a lot of good things we can do. And here's the thing, my goodness, you have infrastructure bill, you've got this bill we have right now and we have a reconciliation bill.
I'm willing to sit down and work through that 1.5 to hero by authorities, and they can come back and do later, and they can run on the rest of it later. I think there's many ways to get to where they want to just run everything at one time.
RAJU: Senator -- just to clarify, just to clarify in the 1.5. So are you saying that is your ceiling the most that you will accept? And you will you signed that document with Chuck Schumer this summer? Did you have an agreement with them that that was the most that you both will accept?
MANCHIN: At the time that we signed that agreement, OK, and that was in July 28. I was at that time asked to go to - I was time to ask to go to a budget resolution. I didn't think any of this was needed at this time, I thought that infrastructure bill was really what was needed. But I said fine, this is a condition I would get to.
And that was a 1.5 because I looked at what the tax code in a really competitive way could basically spin off what we call hard dollars, no different how you all run your lives, guys. Basically, all of us look and see what revenues we have, what we can afford, and what we want. We can't afford, we get what we can afford, but our priorities, and by the things we need.
And the things we can do and I've always said this, put our children at the front end, put our seniors at the back end, basically we have the start of life and in the dignity and respect and basically give a good start on the front end. Those are priorities right now.
So let's do what we can. And then the other things they want to do maybe can be done at a later time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that the limit is 1.5 the limit? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You sign that letter back in July, why have you not been more clear about your priorities and publicly advocating for your priorities in that bill given that it's moving anyway?
MANCHIN: You saw the - you saw the bill?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw it.
MANCHIN: Pretty good muscle this - a lot of good things.
UNIDNENTIFIED MALE: Right. But you haven't said any of that in public.
MANCHIN: I was trying to honor my agreement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's been a debate.
MANCHIN: I know there has been a debate. I thought they were too broad. I thought sure. OK. So I thought it's time now because people are saying I haven't everyone's been pretty clear in my caucus of what's going on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Manchin you've been having that --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you share that number with the president and has that 1.5 --?
MANCHIN: The last week or so. The last week or so--
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you shared with Senator Sinema?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And did that number go up?
MANCHIN: Senator Sinema knows that. My top line has not been my top line has been 1.5 because I believe in my heart, that what we can do and what the needs we have right now and what we can afford to do without being basically changing our whole society to an entitlement mentality progressive.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: That's not progressive say that is not sufficient.
MANCHIN: Well, you know what, here's what the progressive --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But what do you say to people who feel you and Senator Sinema are holding this whole thing up?
MANCHIN: When you have 50 votes, basically take whatever we don't aren't able to come to agreement with today, and take that on the campaign trail next year. And I'm sure that you'll get many more liberal progressive Democrats with what they say they want.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you communicated this top line number to Congresswoman Jayapal or any progressives in the House right now threatening to sync the infrastructure bill today?
MANCHIN: Yes, just ashamed for that, because no two bills should ever be linked together to the point to where you're going to let the perfect is the enemy of the good. Never, I've never -- I've been around for an awful long time in state and now in federal politics. And that should never be the case.
So this is what we had said. And I said, I put this up. I thought, I thought it was shared with other people within and maybe had not been and I just got my word that I wouldn't. And I know you're condemning me for that. But I think my word is all I have here. And I've done that. But now it's time because it hasn't been out and we need to talk about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to talk to Jayapal and --
MANCHIN: --welcome and happy to sit down talk to everybody?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So it sounds - so it sounds like the 1.5 trillion and all the stipulations that you signed on to at the end of July? That's your final offer. And that will not change? Is that this - is that the commitment you're making right now?
MANCHIN: Sure. At this - at that point in time, I was not in favor of moving on this type of a piece of legislation. I wasn't trying to be the fly in the ointment at all. I've never been. I've never been a liberal in any way, shape or form. There's no one's ever thought I was.
I've been Governor. I've been State - Secretary of State I've been state legislature. I've been a U.S. Senator. And I have voted pretty consistently all my whole life. I don't fault any of them who believe that they're much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless them.
And all they need to do is we have to elect more, I guess for them to get there's a lot more liberals. But don't I'm not asking him to change. I'm willing to come from zero to 1.5.
RAJU: But it's 1.6. You're no anything over 1.5? You are no is that correct? Is that correct? Is that correct - if anything over 1.5?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the infrastructure bill, this is my question, your $1.5 trillion line? Are you willing to risk the infrastructure bill? Would you hold?
MANCHIN: I'm not. I'm not. I'm not listening. I've already voted for it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just didn't finish my question. If that means no infrastructure bill at all, will you still stick with 1.5 trillion?
MANCHIN: I've been very upfront very fair. And the bottom line is 1.5 for this infrastructure, I mean, not the infrastructure, but for the reconciliation bill. You got 1.1 or 1.2 on the infrastructure bill, and you have another 250 billion for the - bill. There's an awful lot we already spent 5.4.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you willing get zero?
MANCHIN: Well, that's up to them, they're going to be the nominee?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you going to ask that natural gas be part of the Clean Energy Program without carbon capture is that your position that you're going to push these talks?
MANCHIN: Natural gas to be --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Natural gas to be part of the Clean Energy component --
MANCHIN: It has to be you know, here's the gist, on the energy, I am all for all the above. I'm all for clean energy. But I'm also for productive - producing the amount of energy that we need to make sure that we have reliability. And I'm concerned about that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without Carbon Capture, correct?
MANCHIN: Well, I'd love to have carbon capture. We don't have the technology because we really haven't gotten to that point. And it's so darn expensive, that it makes it almost improbable to do. So basically, what we're trying to do is find a pathway forward.
I am just not forgiving public companies who have shareholders, public dollars free, when I know they're going to be very profitable at the end, whatever we do, all I'm asking for, can't we put ourselves in a position we might front you the money with low interest loans but when we get it back when the profits start flowing, so we don't have to incur more debt that's all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that Senator Sanders and others have different numbers. Have you had any conversations with anybody about how you bridge the gap, figuring out what other conversations happening with between you and anyone else?
MANCHIN: Not at this time, they haven't. I mean, people pretty much know where I've been all along. And I've just said this. If you had X amount of dollars in your paycheck and you wanted to buy something, and that what you wanted to buy was not affordable right now. You'd save up and buy it later. That's all I'm saying.
So what's our priorities, children, Pre-K, I'm strong childcare, child tax credits, we can do that, but do that in a compassionate way targeted. You have basically the mean - the median income is $68,000 in America, can't we use target.
MANCHIN: You have 90 million people that have - they filed tax returns for $50,000 or less, let's target it. I don't think a person that's making 2, 3, 400,000 are in as much need as a person on the lower end. If you have X amount who do you help, that's all I'm saying.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president need to take more of a leadership role here. President Senator --
MANCHIN: I've had great conversations and the president, I admire the president, I really do. And sometimes we have a different position or a different pathway. But his compassion for our children, his compassion for child tax credits for working families, I accommodate and I have the same passion, I might come out a little bit different than I have the same passion.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, you say that you've made yourself very, very clear this entire time, but you talk to anybody over there, and they say they had no idea what you were wanting up until yesterday?
MANCHIN: I was hoping that I didn't - I guess maybe because we are far apart, or what they consider far apart. I just think I've always been of the inclination that in and leadership, you take the - you take the wins, when you can receive them, you bring people do the best you can and you move forward, that's all and we're there now we can move forward. Hopefully we can anyway.
RAJU: Senator you said you talked to Joe Biden --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Timeline on a deal, do you have a latest date to get this done?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You talked with Joe Biden --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You keep saying next year --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: --president needs to come up --
MANCHIN: First of all, you understand and convoluted the tax code, the tax code, that's what -- it's going to take some time. But I will do on good faith. I'm trying to be as honest and upfront, as --
RAJU: You said you talked to Joe Biden. You said you talked to Joe Biden about the $1.5 trillion number. What did he - what did he say about that?
MANCHIN: And he wants in - he really sincere. He would like to have a lot more than that. And I said, Mr. President, I understand that. It's just, you know, hopefully you can respect he's always been so respectful. He said, hey, Joe, I never actually go against your convictions.
He says, I think we want all the same things. We want to help children he wants to help teens; he wants to help the elderly in the long term goal. He want to rich to the pay the fair share, do the tax reform. I'm all for it. We want to we want to basically fix our drug prices to where our Medicare we should be able to. I've been very passionate about that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But if this --
MANCHIN: It's not going to tank --
(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: That's Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia walking away from a horde of reporters asking him questions, because he is such a central player in the current standoff among Democrats about how much to spend on what the Democrats call a reconciliation package?
Let's bring it into the room to our panel. Heather Caygle, let me start with you, because you cover the Hill. Joe Manchin, he would not answer repeatedly Manu Raju -- we'll get to Manu in a minute. Repeatedly tried to ask him is 1.5 trillion it? Is that your absolute top line?
He would not answer. But he did say that that was a number he'd agreed to with Chuck Schumer. 1.5 trillion Senator Manchin, 3.5 trillion House progressives and many Senate progressives. What happens now? That's a still after weeks and weeks of talks nowhere?
CAYGLE: Well, I think part of this, let's say he also said I think my position has been pretty clear for a while. And yet, that's actually the opposite of I think what everyone else in the world thinks. We have not heard this top line until today. He has in fact repeatedly said I don't have a top line. We're not talking about top lines, after he leaves meetings with President Biden and others.
So there's that but the question is, is this enough to satisfy progressives? Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer wanting to at least get some kind of top line for Manchin and Sinema and take that to progressives and say, look, we have this top line that means we can go forward making these negotiations.
Let's vote on this infrastructure bill today. But like you said, that is a much larger gap than I think they were envisioning.
KING: And back to Manu Raju who was in that cluster of reporters outside the Capitol. And again, it's clear Manu that that's the top line Senator Manchin says even that's begrudging that he didn't even want to do that. And he agreed to go to 1.5 trillion. But you asked him repeatedly. Is that it?
And you asked him about his conversations with the president. He said the president wants him to go a lot higher. He did not say that he would fall on his sword over 1.5 trillion about is that the message you received?
RAJU: You know, it sounded pretty firm. I mean, it did sound John, that he did leave the door a little bit open. I kept trying to press him, get him to just say not $1 over 1.5 trillion, but he couldn't quite say that because this is a classic Joe Manchin.
He tries to give himself room he has been very vague about his positions for some time other than wanting to take a pause, raising concerns about the price tag overall, suggesting that it should be less saying that social programs should be pared back saying that the concerns about inflation are real, and they shouldn't be spending this much money.
But this is the first time we've heard real specificity in terms of hard numbers. You know, we - he has suggested for some time 1 to 1.5 trillion. Yes, that's probably been enough for me but this is the first time he did say that it's a ceiling of swords.