The U.S. Senate has yet to take up President Joe Biden’s roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act. The legislation, which was passed by the House of Representatives in November, includes $150 billion for Medicaid home and community-based services that people with disabilities rely on to live on their own or in group homes rather than in institutional settings. The historic investment is aimed at getting people off waiting lists and shoring up the workforce of direct support professionals who provide such services.
Democratic leaders had hoped to push the bill through before Christmas, but the measure was stalled again in late December when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said that he could not back the legislation. Because the Senate is divided 50-50 along party lines and Republicans have unanimously opposed Biden’s plan, the bill needs the support of every Democrat to pass.