Joe Manchin kills Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) after months of contemplating whether he would support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, Machin officially announced he will not the support the plan while on Fox News. This conclusion ends the negotiations
on Bidens’ proposed legislation. The Build Back Better agenda is a massive social spending
bill that he has been touting since he became president in January 2021.
In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Manchin stated, “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.” The BBB (Build Back Better Act) includes nearly $2 trillion of spending on issues surrounding universal preschool, Medicare and Medicaid, an increase in Obamacare plans, fighting climate change, an increase in child tax credits, and an increase in childcare subsidies. The agenda also follows after the $1.9 trillion infrastructure bill (America Rescue Plan) Biden signed into legislation May of 2021. As the BBB passed in the House in November, the stakes were at an all-time high before Manchin made his final decision.
For months, Manchin has been seen as the key “swing vote” whether the Senate would pass the Build Back Better Act, especially in a Democrat controlled Senate with a razor thin majority. After many meetings with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and President Biden in the White House, Manchin could not compel himself to vote for the agenda.
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my
best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot
vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” said Manchin.
With this decision comes plenty of backlash from Democrats all over the country. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki commented that Manchin should be “true to his word” and reconsider his opposition to the agenda. Psaki stated that Manchin previously claimed his commitment to BBB, but Manchin explained that it was not possible to reason with Biden, Schumer, and Pelosi.
Progressives on Capitol Hill also furiously commented on Manchin’s decision. Some called his decision a “betrayal” while others used more vulgar language. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said on MSNBC, “Manchin’s excuses for not voting for BBB are complete bull****.” She also stated, “we all knew Senator Manchin couldn’t be trusted.”
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that Manchin’s decision is “an egregious breach of the trust of the president.” She also said that Democrats have “every right to be furious with Joe Manchin.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said on CNN that “I think [Manchin] will have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia.” President Biden and his top advisors were “astonished and infuriated” when Manchin stated that he would vote against BBB. As Manchin faces backlash, he blasted the White House for leaking “inexcusable things” about him after saying he would not support the bill. The Senator said that the White House “basically retaliated and figured that [The White House] would come back strong.”
Manchin also blamed White House staffers for recent reports about him, as he figured they came from the staffers and not Biden directly. “This is staff. And they drove some things and they put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable. And they know what it is. And that’s it.”
“They figured, surely to God we can move one person. We can badger and beat up one person,” Manchin said. “Surely we get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough. Well, guess what? I’m from West Virginia, I’m not from where they’re from. And they just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.” Protestors arrived in DC and in his home state of West Virginia months before Manchin voted no on BBB.
Joe Manchin might have killed BBB, but Nancy Pelosi is still showing optimism for pushing through the Build Back Better Act into legislation when the new year arrives. For now, Manchin has demolished any chance of BBB getting to the President’s desk. As Biden’s approval ratings towards the end of his first year in office are at a historic low, Joe Manchin’s decision on Build Back Better might not help those numbers go up.