Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) delivered a fatal blow to Democrat President Joe Biden’s massive $3.5 trillion agenda in a statement on Wednesday afternoon, saying that the bill was the “definition of fiscal insanity.”
Manchin said that every member of Congress has a duty to do what is best for the country and not their party, noting that he has stated for months that he cannot support $3.5 trillion in more spending.
“At some point, all of us, regardless of party must ask the simple question – how much is enough?” Manchin said. “What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity.”
Democrats have been desperately trying to pass the $3.5 trillion bill, which the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has estimated could actually cost over $5 trillion, through reconciliation, meaning they would only need a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate to pass it.
“Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue pay an unavoidable inflation tax,” Manchin continued. “Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery. This is the shared reality we all now face, and it is this reality that must shape the future decisions that we, as elected leaders, must make.”
“Overall, the amount we spend now must be balanced with what we need and can afford – not designed to reengineer the social and economic fabric of this nation or vengefully tax for the sake of wishful spending,” Manchin continued. “While I am hopeful that common ground can be found that would result in another historic investment in our nation, I cannot – and will not – support trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces.”
Manchin concluded, “If there is one final lesson that will continue to guide me in this difficult debate ahead, it is this: America is a great nation but great nations throughout history have been weakened by careless spending and bad policies. Now, more than ever, we must work together to avoid these fatal mistakes so that we may fulfill our greatest responsibility as elected leaders and pass on a better America to the next generation.”
Manchin told National Review on Wednesday that if Democrats’ reconciliation bill does not include the Hyde Amendment, it would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate:
National Review: Senator, you’ve been very firm on keeping the Hyde amendment on the appropriations bills. Are you concerned about that issue at all in reconciliation—
NR: —with this new Medicaid program?
Manchin: Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on.
National Review: In the new Medicaid program?
Manchin: It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.