Manchin says he’s a ‘no’ on Biden’s Build Back Better social spending plan

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., seems to have sealed the fate of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill on “Fox News Sunday,” when he announced that he is a “no” on the legislation.

“I’ve always said if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it. 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 said.
Despite working “every day” for five months with different members of the party to get there on the legislation, Manchin said his concerns about inflation and the cost of the program still stand.

“You’re done? This is a no?” host Bret Baier asked.

“This is a no on this piece of legislation. I have tried everything I know to do,” Manchin replied, adding that Biden worked “diligently” and was “wonderful to work with” but knew he had concerns.

Manchin’s comments effectively end Democrats’ hopes of passing Biden’s $1.75 trillion social spending plan, which passed the House last month, with Democratic votes alone. Manchin is the crucial 50th vote needed to get the bill across the line.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has issued a lengthy statement that Manchin’s bombshell announcement Sunday is “at odds” with what he indicated in private negotiations earlier this week — confirming the White House was caught off guard by Manchin’s news, and unleashing on the senator for the “sudden and inexplicable reversal of his position.”

“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,” Psaki said Sunday. ” 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.”

While Manchin recognized that the party had negotiated down from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ initial proposal of $6 trillion, he felt shortening the timelines of the “aspirational goals” included in the bill was not a genuine answer to the issue.

“The thing that never changed Bret, was basically the same amount of things that they’re trying to accomplish by just changing, if you will, the amount of time that we can depend on it,” Manchin said Sunday on Fox. “So if you’re going to do something and do it, pick what we’re apprised priorities are like most people do in their families, or their businesses, and you fund them for 10 years and you make sure they deliver the services for 10 years,” Manchin argued.

Manchin argued COVID-19 and inflation should be where the country is focusing its fire, rather than dragging out the negotiations further.

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