The Democratic party is in absolute shambles after one of their own derailed the Biden administration’s Build Back Better Plan once and for all.
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin confirmed on Sunday that he was a firm “no” vote on the massive spending package which the Democrats were hoping to push through the Senate by year’s end using the reconciliation process.
Manchin made an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” — hosted by Fox News anchor Bret Baier— and said that he had “tried everything” to get to a place where he felt comfortable voting for the measure, but had not been able to make that happen.
“Bret, this is a mammoth piece of legislation and I had my reservations from the beginning,” Manchin began, adding that he had been working every day to find a way to make the numbers work and find a compromise that would work for all involved.
“I’ve done everything humanly possible. And you know my concerns I had, and I still have these concerns,” Manchin continued, noting that the people in his home state of West Virginia were already feeling the impact of inflation and he was concerned that it would not be a transitory thing.
“It’s real, it’s harming every West Virginian, it’s making it almost — difficult for them to continue to go to their jobs. The cost of gasoline, the cost of groceries, the cost of utility bills, all of these things are hitting in every aspect of their life and you start looking at — then you have the debt that we are carrying at $29 trillion, you have also the geopolitical unrest that we have. You have the COVID, the COVID variant, and that is wreaking havoc again, people are concerned.”
“With my family, I know everyone is concerned, so when you have these things coming at you the way they are right now, I’ve always said this, Bret: if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it, and 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,” Manchin added.
“You’re done? This is a no?” Baier pressed.
“This is a no on this legislation,” Manchin repeated.
He continued, “you know, the thing we should all be is directing our attention towards the variants, the COVID that we have coming back at us in so many different aspects and different ways, it’s affecting our lives again. We have inflation that basically could harm — really harm a lot of Americans and especially those who are most needy and having a hard time struggling right now. So I think that’s where attention needs to be directed towards immediately — and this has been going on for five and a half months.”
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin summed up Manchin’s position by saying, “If Manchin is no on both BBB and voting, Biden is done.”
Other Democrats raged over the announcement by Manchin as well, with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar saying, “Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bullshit. The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans. This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure.”
Manchin followed his appearance on Fox News with an official statement, stating, “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk.”
The White House responded to Manchin’s decision, with press secretary Jen Psaki issuing a statement attacking the Democratic senator.
Psaki’s statement claimed that Manchin reversed his position and breached commitments made to President Biden.
Psaki argued in her statement that Manchin’s comments were “at odds” with what he had told President Biden and said they represented “a breach of his commitments” with regard to continuing negotiations.
Psaki’s statement reads, in part:
“Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith.”
On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Psaki went on to argue, as the White House has in the past, that the Build Back Better Act was “completely paid for” and would therefore not contribute to the deficit or to inflation.
She went on to say that the White House would continue to pressure Manchin to change his position, adding, “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word.”
“In the meantime, Senator Manchin will have to explain to those families paying $1,000 a month for insulin why they need to keep paying that, instead of $35 for that vital medicine,” Psaki continued.
“He will have to explain to the nearly two million women who would get the affordable day care they need to return to work why he opposes a plan to get them the help they need. Maybe Senator Manchin can explain to the millions of children who have been lifted out of poverty, in part due to the Child Tax Credit, why he wants to end a program that is helping achieve this milestone—we cannot.”
Author: Mitchell Kielson