Recently, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced during an appearance on Fox that he was a “no” on the Build Back Better Act, a monumental piece of legislation that, if enacted, would provide significant tranches of federal support for efforts like fighting climate change and improving health care access. Because of the close party breakdown in the Senate, Democratic leaders could not afford to lose a single vote and have the legislation still move forward — so for now, the bill’s future has been inescapably upended. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), often known as a voice of reason in the House, joined those criticizing Manchin for his antics.
Manchin’s blockade of the bill is poised to have serious, real-world consequences. If passed, the legislation would have extended the expanded child tax credit, which was distributed to families across the country in monthly payments this year and helped support the needs of children nationwide. Now that the legislation, which included another extension, is not moving forward, the payments have ended. Porter commented as follows:
‘The Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible legislation. We will pay an incredible price if we don’t lower the costs families face, including unaffordable child care, prescription drugs prices, energy, and more—and if we continue turning a blind eye to big corporations and the ultra-wealthy cheating our tax code… It’s no wonder why economists are cutting their forecasts for U.S. economic growth following Senator Manchin’s comments. The Build Back Better Act combats inflation and invests in what we need for a strong, stable, globally competitive economy. We must forge on for the sake of our economic recovery.’
Rep. Katie Porter: "It's no wonder why economists are cutting their forecasts for U.S. economic growth following Sen. Manchin's comments. The Build Back Better Act combats inflation and invests in what we need for a strong … economy. We must forge on."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 22, 2021
Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki has also insisted that federal officials would continue seeking to find ways forward for the policies. As she put it, the White House “will not relent in the fight to help Americans with their child care, health care, prescription drug costs, and elder care—and to combat climate change.” Seeking to pass certain policies essentially on their own, instead of tied to the other components of the Build Back Better agenda, could help ease the way forward — maybe.
After a day of uncertainty, Manchin is, in fact, on the call with Senate Dems tonight as they discuss their path forward, per two sources familiar with the matter
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) December 22, 2021
Meanwhile, Manchin is facing criticism from within his home state too. Recently, the Charleston Gazette-Mail — which serves Manchin’s hometown of Charleston, West Virginia — published an op-ed from a West Virginia resident who wrote that he was “sure Manchin’s industry and corporate backers were thrilled to hear Manchin’s Fox News announcement… But working families, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, people with black lung disease and those of us who understand the extreme urgency of addressing anthropogenic global climate change certainly are not.”