Sen. Joe Manchin revealed Sunday that he would not vote for the $2 trillion social and climate spending bill known as Build Back Better.
Manchin told Fox News Sunday that he had reached the decision to break from his fellow Democrats after trying to reach compromises and speaking with top party members including president Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t do it,” he said. “This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do.”
Manchin said he could not support the bill because he would not be able to explain supporting it to voters in West Virginia while citing factors including inflation worries, the COVID-19 pandemic and “geopolitical unrest.”
“I’ve tried everything humanly possible… this is a no.”
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) December 19, 2021
His announcement deals a potential death blow to Biden’s hopes for the passage of the spending bill in the evenly divided Senate after months of negotiations between Manchin and his colleagues. All 50 Democratic/independent senators, including Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinena, who has not approved the legislation, are needed to pass the bill with Vice President Kamela Harris casting the tiebreaker.
The bill had passed in the House in November by a vote of 220-213 with unanimous disapproval from Republicans and just one Democratic vote against its passage.
Sen. Bernie Sanders went on CNN after Manchin’s announcement and said he hopes the Senate will force Manchin to vote on the bill while noting that the bill has “no Republican support.”
“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 powerful special interests,” Sanders said. “If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world.”
Reaction below from Democrats and media.
If Joe Manchin does not have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests, he's going to have to explain that to the people of West Virginia who are hurting and hurting badly. pic.twitter.com/U5OeNlk6ea
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) December 19, 2021
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) December 19, 2021
We can't let one lone senator from West Virginia obstruct the people's agenda.
The cost is too high, and our most vulnerable always pay the price.
This fight isn't over. pic.twitter.com/MW0ReiKeb6
— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) December 19, 2021
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) December 19, 2021
Wow. @politico has a credibility problem here.
In a real news room this guy would be labeled “opinion reporter”. He thinks he’s objective. https://t.co/HXwjEdEZKE
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 19, 2021
A “healthy democracy” would not have a Senate with 2 per state. (Or an Electoral College.) https://t.co/dxnmZ58y7c
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) December 19, 2021
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