Reeling liberals ready to ditch Manchin as rest of Dems hope for a deal

"It is clear that we cannot trust what Sen. Manchin says," he said. No one should think that we are going to be satisfied with a package that leaves people behind or doesn't tackle important issues like climate change.

She made clear that Democrats shouldn't put all their bets on the West Virginia centrist.

Senior House Democrats say that executive actions are not an option if the party wants to get a piece of Biden's social policy and climate priorities in his first term. Congress only offers a narrow and difficult road to victory, but they say it's the only realistic path.

Many in the party say they are still processing Manchin's stiff-arm, which was delivered just after both chambers had adjourned for the holidays. Multiple lawmakers and aides familiar with ongoing conversations say that the signature domestic bill is not dead yet.

Pelosi said Monday that she was not abandoning Biden's bill, which narrowly passed the House just before Thanksgiving. She argued that Manchin could be moved.

"We will not let this opportunity pass and we will make that case," Pelosi said at the event. At some point, we will be able to take up the legislation because Sen. Manchin cares about our country. I am not deterred.

Schumer wrote a letter to his caucus Monday that he would hold a floor vote on the social spending bill despite Manchin's opposition. Senate staff met with the parliamentarian to discuss whether certain provisions complied with chamber rules, a sign that Schumer still plans to move forward. Senate Democrats will hold a virtual caucus on Tuesday to discuss rules changes that would weaken the filibuster, a goal of progressives.

Several progressives said they would come to the table when faced with a trade-off. These liberals have waited a long time to make good on their promises to voters, and they want to show that they are in control of Congress and the White House.

If Biden wants to continue the framework and work hard to bridge the differences, we can negotiate the details. I'm open to that. Ro Khanna said that he was not open to getting nothing.

The social spending plan was attached to the infrastructure bill that Manchin helped write, so Senate moderates would pull support from the more left-leaning proposal to expand the social safety net. After Democrats suffered losses in the November elections, progressives relented and let the infrastructure bill go, after securing Biden's assurance that all 50 Senate Democrats were on board.

A half-dozen progressives voted against the infrastructure bill anyway. Some liberals felt vindicated after Manchin's announcement that Biden had not locked in his party's senators.

I voted no on the infrastructure bill because I didn't agree with the strategy then. I don't agree with it now. We're not underwater yet, but I blamed Manchin for what happened.

The Washington Democrat said she voiced her frustration when Manchin called on Monday, though she didn't comment on his side of the conversation.

"It is clear that we cannot trust what Senator Manchin says," she said, noting that she had spoken to White House officials.

The leaders of the progressive caucus will meet Monday night to discuss how to move forward after the social spending bill is put on hold.

Some Democrats were not as quick to write off Manchin. They compared his Sunday rant to a press conference he held last month to warn he might not support the final bill.

Liberals had called for Biden to include as many priority programs as possible, even if each was only authorized over a short time frame, but other senior Democrats are preparing to switch up that strategy. They've been open to Manchin's suggestion to target the bill on a few key benefits that would last longer. The leaders of the New Democrat Coalition pushed the idea for a long time.

According to several people familiar with the discussions, Manchin had some talks with the White House last week about a bill that would include shoring up the health care law and creating universal pre-K.

Several Democrats pointed out that the deal wouldn't be a trimmed version of the House bill, but just with fewer programs guaranteed for longer time periods.

House Democratic leaders must still navigate a complex landscape if Manchin does recommit to negotiations. The three House Democrats who have tied their votes to immigration reform may be disappointed by a bill that can win over enough progressives.

The Senate's rules arbiter had already rejected the legislation's immigration provisions because they were not compliant with Senate rules. The Latino Democrats who voted for the social spending bill with immigration are in a tough spot.

If there aren't any immigration proposals, it will be nearly impossible for me to vote for the bill. Lou Correa said in an interview that they better be good.

Adriano Espaillat wouldn't say if he would block the bill without immigration.

Immigration reform could be an issue in the upper chamber. If there isn't something on immigration, it will have a hard time passing the Senate.

There are a few Northeastern Democrats who want to change the tax rules that capped breaks on state and local taxes. The Democrats, led by Josh Gottheimer and Tom Suozzi, refused to back a bill without tax relief for their states.

I'm more concerned with how to get something done than who did what. The only way to get something done is to get 51 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House.

The report was contributed by Marianne LeVine.