Joe Manchin Finally Seals The Fate Of Biden’s Agenda

( Democrats have been hoping to revive discussions around President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, but it seems that one of their own all but shot down that possibility.

West Virginia moderate Senator Joe Manchin recently told Jake Tapper on CNN that the bill is all but dead.

Tapper point blank asked Manchin:

“Build Back Better — is it dead? Is there any opportunity for it to come back with your support?”

Manchin initially signaled that he would be open to potentially considering “parts” of the BBB, if it were to be re-presented again. However, he dealt what could be a fatal blow to the Democrats’ hopes when he said that liberals shouldn’t be rushing the massive social spending bill through the upper chamber without any support from Republicans.

He explained:

“My biggest concern, and my biggest opposition — it did not go through the process. [Republicans] should have at least the opportunity to have input. It should have gone through the committee.

“These are major changes. It is going to change society as we know it. And those changes, there should be a hearing. There should be a markup. And then you’re going to have a better product, whether your friends on the other side vote for it or not. But they have to have input.”

That would seem to put the final nail in the coffin for Democrats’ hopes to pass the BBB package as they see fit — and only as they see fit.

Liberals have been trying to push the bill through the Senate using the process of budget reconciliation. That would allow them to get around the Senate’s filibuster rule, which normally requires at least 60 senators to vote in favor of a bill for it to pass.

The problem, though, is that Democrats haven’t been able to get all 50 of their own members on board with that process, especially Manchin. At the end of 2021, he said that he couldn’t support the BBB package as it was being presented at the time — even though the White House pared down the bill quite a lot from its original form.

The bill includes expanding Medicaid, providing paid medical and family leave, creating universal pre-K, child care subsidies, guarantees free community college, expands child care tax credits and many measures to combat climate change. Democrats have said the total package will be paid through deficit spending and raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

There are many parts of the bill that Manchin didn’t approve of, though, including the very broad expanded child care tax credit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed that the liberals would bring the BBB to the floor of the Senate for a full vote, which would force Manchin and others to actually vote against the bill, rather than just saying in the media that they opposed it.

That hasn’t happened yet, and it might be unlikely that Schumer forces the bill to a vote after Manchin’s recent comments.