Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) confirmed Sunday that he was a firm “no” on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a massive spending package that Democrats had hoped to push through the Senate by year’s end using the reconciliation process.
Manchin made an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” — hosted by Fox News anchor Bret Baier for the first time since Chris Wallace’s departure from the network a week earlier — and he said that he had “tried everything” to get to a place where he felt comfortable voting for the measure, but had not been able to make that happen.
“Bret, this is a mammoth piece of legislation and I had my reservations from the beginning,” Manchin began, adding that he had been working every day to find a way to make the numbers work and find a compromise that would work for all involved.
“I’ve done everything humanly possible. And you know my concerns I had, and I still have these concerns,” Manchin continued, noting that the people in his home state of West Virginia were already feeling the impact of inflation and he was concerned that it would not be a transitory thing. “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 and you start looking at — then you have the debt that we are carrying at $29 trillion, you have also the geopolitical unrest that we have. You have the COVID, the COVID variant, and that is wreaking havoc again, people are concerned.”
“With my family, I know everyone is concerned, so when you have these things coming at you the way they are right now, I’ve always said this, Bret: if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it, and I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible, I can’t get there,” Manchin added.
“If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it … this is a no.”@Sen_JoeManchin announced on Fox News Sunday that he will not vote for the Build Back Better bill.
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) December 19, 2021
“You’re done? This is a no?” Baier pressed.
“This is a no on this legislation,” Manchin repeated, adding, “I have tried everything I know to do and the president has worked diligently, he’s been wonderful to work with, he knows I’ve had concerns and the problems I’ve had and — you know, the thing we should all be is directing our attention towards the variants, the COVID that we have coming back at us in so many different aspects and different ways, it’s affecting our lives again. We have inflation that basically could harm — really harm a lot of Americans and especially those who are most needy and having a hard time struggling right now. So I think that’s where attention needs to be directed towards immediately — and this is been going on for five and a half months.”
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin summed up Manchin’s position by saying, “If Manchin is no on both BBB and voting, Biden is done. Democracy is hanging by a thread. Hard to think of anyone more destructive.”
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar added, “Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bullshit. The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans. This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure.”
Manchin followed his “Fox News Sunday appearance with an official statement, adding, “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk.”
Now Manchin has released a statement saying he’s no. Crystal clear no
“My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk” pic.twitter.com/e2CjsrkEH6
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) December 19, 2021
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