Biden: Schumer-Manchin agreement ‘strongest bill you can pass’ to address key priorities

President Biden on Thursday called on congressional Democrats to support a reconciliation package agreement unveiled a day earlier, acknowledging that it’s “far from perfect,” but saying it’s the strongest bill the party can pass to address key priorities.

“This bill is far from perfect. It’s a compromise. But that’s often how progress is made, by compromises,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.

“The fact is, my message to Congress is this: This is the strongest bill you can pass to lower inflation, cut the deficit, reduce health care costs, tackle the climate crisis and promote energy security, all the time while reducing the burdens facing working class and middle class families,” he continued. “So pass it. Pass it for the American people. Pass it for America.”

Biden said he would keep fighting for other agenda priorities left out of the $369 billion proposal, such as child care, elder care, funding to make preschool accessible, as well as making college more affordable and accessible.

Biden’s remarks came a day after Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced they reached an agreement to revive key pieces of Biden’s agenda, including provisions on health care, prescription drugs and climate change, though it falls short of everything the president hoped for.

The legislation would help lower health insurance costs for millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act, would lower the cost of prescription drugs and would provide tax credits to promote clean energy.

“Simply put, the bill will lower health care costs for millions of Americans, and it will be the most important investment—not hyperbole—most important investment we’ve ever made in our energy security,” Biden said Thursday. “It’s a big deal.”

The bill would also adjust the tax code to close loopholes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

The deal announced Wednesday came weeks after Manchin seemingly had scuttled any chance of an agreement with hesitancy over inflation.

The legislation will require the support of all 50 Democrats in the Senate to pass, as well as a simple majority in the House, where Democrats hold a narrow majority.