Dec 13 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin are expected to speak by telephone as soon as Monday as the White House seeks to help Democrats resolve a number of stubborn differences around a nearly $2 trillion spending package aimed at reshaping the nation’s economy.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, has said he hopes to adopt the bill by Christmas, but Democratic lawmakers are still at odds over the size and scope of the spending bill, dubbed Build Back Better.
Manchin, a pivotal moderate swing vote, has been the chief obstacle, repeatedly refusing to endorse the measure and instead calling on Democrats to slow down the process and consider issues like inflation.
Biden announced last week that he was meeting with Manchin on Monday and two sources familiar with the matter said the pair could talk by phone as soon as Monday, cautioning that the timing could change.
The meeting marks the latest attempt by Biden to engage with Capitol Hill and rescue the final – and largest – component of his economic agenda from in-fighting and delays.
Democrats in the narrowly divided Senate cannot adopt their roughly $2 trillion measure without Manchin’s supportive vote. (Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw in Philadelphia Additional reporting by David Morgan and Richard Cowan in Washington Editing by Heather Timmons and Matthew Lewis)