The Democratic senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, continues to be the focus of the Republican effort to thwart President Joe Biden’s massive spending plan called Build Back Better. Manchin said recently that he has not seen any negotiations taking place that could revive Biden’s social spending package.
“I’m really not going to talk about Build Back Better because I think I’ve been very clear on that. There is no negotiation going on at this time,” Manchin revealed to the press outside of his office this week.
This message was reiterated by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. He said that Democrats would probably not return to the Build Back Better plan until after they addressed the voting rights debate, and that was going to take them all the way to Martin Luther King Jr. Day later this month.
It was reported in Politico, “Democrats had hoped the year-end expiration of the expanded child tax credit might cajole Manchin into a deal. But his concerns are far broader and would require a significant rewrite of the legislation, extending to the bill’s short-term programs and longer-term financing.”
Previously, Manchin suggested that the legislation from the White House center on climate issues if they wanted it to be more successful. He said that climate was something that he thinks they all could come to an agreement on and it would be easier than anything else.
The senate majority leader from New York, Chuck Schumer, noted that there would be more to come from the Senate regarding the social spending package. He said that he intends to hold a vote in the Senate on Biden’s package and that the Senate will keep voting until the bill gets passed. He believes that the stakes are high for his colleagues to reach common ground.
When a White House official was asked about the social spending package, they would not comment about any individual member of the senate. They said that the administration would keep engaging with a wide number of senators regarding advancing the Build Back Better agenda.
It was reported last month that Senator Manchin would not be supporting the Build Back Better legislation. This caused a great deal of criticism from the Left. The West Virginia senator appeared on Fox News and said that he had reservations about the massive legislation from the very beginning.
“I’ve done everything humanly possible. And you know my concerns I had, and I still have these concerns. It’s real, it’s harming every West Virginian, it’s making it almost — difficult for them to continue to go to their jobs. The cost of gasoline, the cost of groceries, the cost of utility bills, all of these things are hitting in every aspect of their life…”
He went on the describe the $29 trillion in debt that we are carrying, the geopolitical unrest in the world, and the COVID variant that is creating havoc. Manchin said that people are concerned.
The senator told Fox News that if he can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, he just can’t vote for it. That is why he couldn’t continue with Biden’s spending agenda. He said that he has tried everything humanly possible, but he just can’t get there.
That has not kept his colleagues on the Left from trying to persuade him otherwise. But some in the GOP are now saying that the Left’s strategy could be ineffective at garnering Manchin’s ultimate support for the spending package.
We will have to wait and see what comes after the contentious debate on voting rights.