WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday pushed back against the argument made by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that the reconciliation package should not contain the paid family and medical leave program. 

“We can afford it. It’s universal. It’s a compromise,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. 

Pelosi announced Wednesday that paid family and medical leave had been added back into the social spending and climate change mitigation bill.

Manchin told CNN added that paid family leave should be done “in regular order through the process,” rather than in the reconciliation bill.

“I disagree,” Pelosi said in response to Manchin’s criticism. “I think this is appropriate for this legislation.”

However, even if the House can pass a version of the reconciliation package that includes paid leave, it is unclear the addition will last during the Senate negotiations.

Speaker Pelosi would not provide any additional details about when the chamber might vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) or the Build Back Better (BBB) package. 

“I’ll let you know as soon as I wish to,”  Pelosi said.