“We’re going to work like hell to get it done,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, repeating the phrase several times at a briefing but never saying how.

Democrats are struggling to pick up the pieces after Sen. Joe Manchin effectively crushed President Joe Biden’s big domestic policy bill. But they face serious questions whether the $2 trillion initiative can be refashioned to win his crucial vote or the party will be saddled with a devastating defeat.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed on Monday that the chamber would vote early in the new year on Biden’s “Build Back Better Act” as it now stands so every senator “has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.” That was a biting reference to Manchin’s sudden TV announcement against the bill on Sunday.

Biden and Manchin spoke later Sunday, according to a person familiar with the call, first reported by Politico. It was cordial and respectful, said the person who spoke only on condition of anonymity.

But the conservative West Virginia Democrat and his party are so far apart, his relationships so bruised after months of failed talks, it’s unclear how they even get back to the negotiating table, let alone revive the sprawling more than 2,100-page social services and climate change bill.

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