Manchin Pulls Support From Biden’s Social Policy Bill, Imperiling Its Passage


Sen. Manchin

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has stated he would vote "no" on the Build Back Better Act, a significant development for legislation that Democrats need to pass through the Senate.

Manchin has long been a significant skeptic of the package, expressing worries about specific components in the economic plan that would increase the nation's social safety net and how they may worsen the country's growing inflation.

"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," he said. "This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do. And the President has worked diligently. He's been wonderful to work with. He knows I've had concerns and the problems I've had and, you know, the thing that we should all be directing our attention towards the variant, a Covid that we have coming back at us in so many different aspects in different ways, it's affecting our lives again."

 Manchin's support for the bill, a $1.9 trillion spending plan aimed at expanding the nation's social safety net, lowering Americans' childcare and health-care costs, and combating climate change, is required for Democrats to pass it through a process known as budget reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes to pass.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a progressive independent, slammed Manchin for withdrawing his support, saying, "I think he's going to have a lot of explaining to the people of West Virginia," and urging Democrats to send the bill to a floor vote to compel Manchin into voting nay on the record.

"I hope that we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn't have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests," Said, Sen. Sandere

 According to a person familiar with Manchin's plans, he did inform the White House and Democratic leadership of his decision before making his statement.

 Citing a person familiar with the discussions, it was evident Manchin was heading in this way, as Biden privately informed advisers this week that he was no longer optimistic he could eventually get the West Virginia Democrat on board. However, White House officials were taken aback when Manchin informed them on Sunday morning that he had already made a final decision.

According to the source, their reaction was negative. One senior administration official said that it was "very unexpected." Manchin notified the White House that they were the first to learn about the situation and that he had not yet alerted his staff.

Manchin has previously expressed several reservations about the legislation, which was enacted by the Democrat-controlled House last month. He planned to cut the bill in numerous areas, including paid family leave, a methane tax on energy producers' emissions, and a Medicare expansion to cover hearing costs. He was also seeking revisions to several of the elements in the bill's tax section.

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