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Dems planning next steps for Build Back Better, says Maryland senator

Democrats haven’t thrown in the towel on President Biden’s sweeping social and climate spending package.

Work on the bill will resume in the new year, even though opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate West Virginia Democrat, likely means “a lot of us are going to be disappointed,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said on Sunday.

“There is unanimity in our caucus that we want to get a bill to the president and we are working to see what that bill will contain,” Cardin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “President Biden is directly involved in these negotiations.”

Asked whether scaling back the “Build Back Better” spending package would cost Democrats the support of progressives, Cardin suggested the party go back to the drawing board.

“We want to see it as comprehensive as possible, but we need to make sure we have the votes to pass it, so that means it will be different than some of us would like to see,” he said.

"A lot of us are going to be disappointed" with the final outcome of the "Build Back Better" spending legislation, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said on Sunday. (Alex Brandon/)

“A lot of us are going to be disappointed, but we’re not going to let perfection be the enemy of getting something done,” he said.

“I think we’ll be pragmatic about it, but we want to make sure it deals with the issues that we’re facing in our communities.”

After months of negotiations, Manchin last week said he wouldn’t support “Build Back Better,” citing issues including its steep price tag. He’d been seen as the decisive vote in the evenly decided Senate.

It’s not clear how Democrats can revive the roughly $2 trillion bill, which is unanimously opposed by Republicans.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri on Sunday blasted what he called "gimmicks" in the "Build Back Better" spending package. (Andrew Harnik/)

The legislation includes billions of dollars for expanded health care access, universal preschool, clean-energy incentives and more.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri criticized its key provisions, including the expanded child tax credit.

“I think this is one of the problems and one of the gimmicks in the bill, frankly,” he said, also on “Fox News Sunday.”

Among other objections, Blunt suggested that Democrats have designed some of the package’s main provisions to extend past their stated expiration date.

“They assume that once you start all of these programs, you’ll never be willing to stop them,” he said.

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