Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) dropped a big “No” bomb on the nation Sunday morning when he appeared on FOX News. With that, he is sinking President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better (BBB) bill. A bill to reestablish a healthy working and middle-class. You know, the ones the Republicans squeezed to death and gave the profits to the rich.
The Democrats and President Biden have been in discussion with Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-WY) since early summer. Unfortunately, they not only disagreed with their party, they disagreed with each other. The Guardian reported:
‘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.’
President Biden and the Senate Democrats have negotiated and compromised again and again. This week they offered to delay this ever-important bill until 2022. Still Manchin publicly threw his vote into the gutter.
But White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki came riding in to save the day. In her rapid response statement, she wrote that his statement on FOX was “at odds with his discussions this week with the president:”
‘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.”’
The problem is that the Senate needs 60 votes on most bills, and every one of the Republicans is a “no” vote. Fortunately, Build Back Better can go through on a reconciliation — if Manchin and Sinema are on board.
The tweets flew in:
‘From the White House.’
Psaki continued, noting that the West Virginia senator and submitted an outline for BBB directly to the president:
‘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.’
It appeared that the senator has been blaming his decision on inflation:
‘Senator Manchin claims that this change of position is related to inflation, but the think tank he often cites on Build Back Better—the Penn Wharton Budget Institute—issued a report less than 48 hours ago that noted the Build Back Better Act will have virtually no impact on inflation in the short term.’
This is what is in the BBB bill that is so all-important to American families:
‘Build Back Better lowers costs that families pay. It will reduce what families pay for child care. It will reduce what they pay for prescription drugs. It will lower health care premiums. And it puts a tax cut in the pockets of families with kids. If someone is concerned about the impact that higher prices are having on families, this bill gives them a break.’
Manchin claims he is worried about the cost. But as Psaki said. “The plan if fully paid for:”
‘Senator Manchin cited deficit concerns in his statement. But the plan is fully paid for, is the most fiscally responsible major bill that Congress has considered in years, and reduces the deficit in the long run…Senator Manchin knows that.’
So Manchin will have to explain to his voters why he took this from them:
‘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. 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.’
Bernie Sanders (D-VT) said on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper Sunday that most Democrats are for the American people. It would give $300 to help working parents, work on climate change, and reduce the high cost of prescription drugs. Sanders wants Manchin to tell his voters he voted for a different massive human infrastructure bill and a huge military bill this year. But the Vermont senator sai that Manchin “does not have the guts” to go against the lobbyists and big money people and vote for the most important bill of all.
Read Psaki’s press release in its entirety here:
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