Sen. Joe Manchin says he cannot support President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation

Following weeks of intense negotiations in Washington DC, President Biden’s Build Back Better plan seems potentially doomed, after key lawmaker Joe Manchin (D-WV) said in a Fox News interview on Sunday that he “cannot vote to continue” with the legislation.

In order to pass through the US Senate, the bill would require support from every single Democrat Senator, and Vice President Kamala Harris to break the tie. Without Manchin’s vote, the bill may be effectively dead.

Manchin has spent weeks debating the cost of the bill as well as the extensive climate provisions within the plan. He previously convinced Democrats to dial back the climate provisions, only to turn to the cost of the bill and, specifically, the continuation of the Child Tax Credit, as his reasons for not supporting the bill.

The White House claims Manchin had agreed privately to continue negotiations, in spite of conceding the bill would not be put up for a vote before Christmas. Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in a statement released on Sunday, Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.

Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith.”

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders believes the bill should come to the Senate floor for a vote with or without Manchin’s support, telling CNN in an interview on Sunday, “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.” 

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