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Biden to meet with Manchin, Sinema to discuss U.S. $3.5 trillion spending bill

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September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden will meet separately with moderate Democratic U.S. senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema on Wednesday to discuss Democratic-backed domestic spending legislation, sources familiar with the meetings said.

The Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, making Manchin and Sinema critical to the legislation’s prospects.

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Sinema, who represents Arizona, will be at the White House on Wednesday morning and Manchin, of West Virginia, will discuss the wide-ranging spending and tax bill on Wednesday evening, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The legislation – opposed by Republicans – aims to supplement a separate bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill and would focus on education, child care, climate-related projects and other matters.

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The meeting comes after Manchin over the weekend said he would not back a $3.5 trillion package and urged a slimmer version, putting him at odds with other Democrats backing the larger bill to tackle the party’s major policy goals while they maintain a narrow hold on Congress.

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(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Richard Cowan; Editing by Will Dunham and Doina Chiacu)

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