9:16 p.m.Seung Min Kim: Reporters all over Washington — including yours truly — in recent days have sent hundreds of frantic texts to sources, made call after call to senior aides, and chased after any lawmaker who has met with Biden to dig around for any morsels of the ongoing negotiations over his massive social safety net and climate package.It turns out, we could’ve waited for Biden to read out all of the details on live television.During the CNN town hall Thursday night, the president went into remarkable detail about the granular aspect of his negotiations over the “Build Back Better” package, whose outline Democrats are scrambling to finalize in the coming days.Sinema was very supportive of his climate plans, although she won’t back a “single penny” of tax increases through the corporate tax rate or on wealthy earners, Biden revealed. (Democrats privately grouse that the other holdout — Manchin — is the reverse — mostly with the party on taxes but not on climate policy).Is the paid leave program sliced down to four weeks, from the proposed 12? Biden confirmed that on air.And the president detailed a proposal being discussed among Democrats that would provide dental coverage as part of a new voucher program, as part of the party’s complicated push to expand Medicare benefits.All of these pieces have been reported in recent days, revealed through private conversations between Biden and Democratic lawmakers or during intense negotiations among senior members and aides. Reporters at The Washington Post and other outlets have been confident of these details.But let’s be honest: it’s gratifying to have another layer of on-the-record confirmation, especially if it’s from the president of the United States himself.
Seung Min Kim, White House reporter