"At an impasse over the child tax credit, Biden hints that Democrats could shift gears to focus on voting rights in the final days of 2021."
"A push by Senate Democrats to pass a roughly $2 trillion tax-and-spending measure before Christmas appeared in dire political peril Wednesday, as talks soured between President Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) over the size and scope of the economic package.
Despite days of negotiations, the gaps between the two sides seemed newly immense. Biden sought to safeguard his economic agenda from significant cuts, while Manchin continued to insist on steep spending reductions. The private wrangling offered a marked contrast with the public proclamations of progress coming from both powerful Democrats in recent weeks.
The impasse left party lawmakers on Capitol Hill impatient and frustrated, after they spent months trying to slim down their original spending ambitions to win Manchin’s still-elusive support. Some Democrats grew especially concerned about the fate of one of their most widely touted proposals — an extension of a soon-expiring federal program that provides roughly 35 million families with monthly child tax aid. Without a resolution, those Americans could have received their final payment Wednesday.
Other Democrats privately began weighing a change in their approach, shifting focus in the final weeks of the year from the spending initiative to voting rights. Yet it remained unclear if Democrats could shepherd those election reforms through the ever-divided chamber, since Manchin similarly has stood his ground in that debate — refusing to budge on changing Senate rules to overcome a guaranteed Republican filibuster."