Another chance to build back better

Democrats still have one last chance to enact fairer tax policy, lower drug prices and make a major down payment on America's energy future

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Editorials

March 9, 2022 - 4:38 PM

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo by (Russ Rohde/Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin III is floating yet another idea to salvage the Build Back Better package. The Democrat from West Virginia wants to hike taxes on the rich and some corporations and then split the money between debt reduction and addressing climate change. In other words, he wants a smaller package than the $1.75 trillion deal Democratic leaders tried to make happen last year. Notice he also doesn’t mention President Biden’s key social priorities: universal pre-kindergarten, expanded child care and at least another year of the child tax credit.

It’s understandable why many of his fellow Democrats are scoffing. Mr. Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are the two holdouts who have prevented this major legislation from passing for months. They have brought a lot of ridicule on their party and Mr. Biden for failing to get this done while Democrats hold a slim majority in Congress.

But it’s time to set the grudges aside and engage with Mr. Manchin and Ms. Sinema again. Democrats still have one last chance to enact fairer tax policy, lower drug prices and make a major down payment on America’s energy future. It’s far better to take this deal than to do nothing. We applaud Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, for signaling an openness to Mr. Manchin’s approach.

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