Barbara Sprunt

At a busy pub in Midlothian, Virginia, a group of voters are gathered at long wooden tables, ordering burgers and pimento cheese fries and talking about the Democrats' legislative agenda.

"I think universal pre-K is a good idea," said Lindsay Sherrard, a local physician.

"The [child] tax credit is fantastic," added Yael Levin, who works on education issues. "I love the tax credit because that gives the choice back to people."

Updated November 15, 2021 at 11:42 AM ET

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the longest-serving member in the Senate, announced Monday he will not seek reelection in 2022.

"Marcelle and I have reached the conclusion that it is time to put down the gavel. It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state. It's time to come home," he said in a news conference at the state capitol in Montpelier.

Updated November 1, 2021 at 4:17 PM ET

Sen. Joe Manchin has announced he cannot yet support the $1.75 trillion framework for President Biden's social spending package that congressional Democrats were hoping to push through this week.

A lot "ales" Congress these days — with members clashing over President Biden's domestic agenda and continued fallout from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

But on Wednesday night, bipartisan cooperation was on full display during the fourth annual Anheuser-Busch Brew Across America Congressional Brewing Competition, where five pairs of lawmakers work with breweries across the country to create new small batch beers and bring them back to Washington, D.C., to find out whose concoction is best.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he had previously offered to change his political party affiliation to independent if he were an "embarrassment" to his Democratic colleagues.

"I said, me being a moderate centrist Democrat — if that causes you a problem, let me know and I'd switch to be independent," he told Capitol Hill reporters Thursday.

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