Ilhan Omar Rebuts Joe Manchin’s ‘Bullshit’ After Killing Biden Agenda

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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) swiftly joined those speaking out against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) this weekend after he announced during an appearance on Fox that he was a “no” on the Build Back Better Act. His announcement sent the legislation’s future into a nearly inescapable tailspin — because of the current party breakdown in the Senate, Democratic leaders could not afford to lose a single vote. The Build Back Better Act, as proposed and already passed by the House, would (if enacted) provide significant tranches of federal financial support for efforts ranging from fighting climate change to improving health care access.

Omar commented as follows:

‘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.’

What Omar referred to was a prior push from progressives in the House to keep the bipartisan infrastructure agreement and the Build Back Better Act proceeding in tandem, so that one couldn’t be passed without a sure path forward on the other. The House ended up passing the infrastructure bill essentially on its own, and that piece of legislation has since been signed into law by President Joe Biden. Now, Manchin’s excuses for going against the Build Back Better Act are wide-ranging, from concerns about inflation to claims that climate-related proposals in the bill would both essentially be redundant and push transitions to clean energy faster than would be secure.

The White House itself released a statement tearing apart Manchin’s claims. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who was responsible for that statement, noted that, apparently within the last week, 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.” Now, Psaki says, perhaps 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.” An extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit is included in the Build Back Better proposal. Notably, Psaki ended the statement by saying that the Biden administration would keep looking for a path forward for these policy proposals.