On Tuesday, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (WV) said that there are no negotiations going on over President 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 told reporters Tuesday.
Politico reported, “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.”
According to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), negotiations will begin again soon.
“I’ve talked to Sen. Manchin numerous times during the break,” Schumer said on Tuesday afternoon. “I believe the Biden administration will be having discussions with Manchin with his cooperation and participation.”
Schumer still plans on forcing a vote on Biden’s signature legislation at some point.
“I intend to hold a vote in the Senate on BBB and we’ll keep voting until we get a bill passed. The stakes are high for us to find common ground,” Schumer said Tuesday.
“Still, after Manchin’s comments Tuesday, the domestic spending bill seems in even worse shape than many in the party are willing to admit,” Politico reported. “And Democrats may have to seriously trim their ambitions to get Manchin’s vote, essential to pass the filibuster-proof spending bill in a 50-50 Senate.”
Manchin has been adamantly against the Build Back Better Act, saying in November that the bill was a “recipe for economic crisis.”
“Throughout the last three months, I’ve been straightforward about my concerns that I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our $29 trillion in national debt that no one seems to really care about or even talk about,” Manchin said. “Nor will I support a package that risks hurting American families suffering from historic inflation. Simply put, I will not support a bill that is this consequential without thoroughly understanding the impact that it’ll have on our national debt, our economy, and most importantly, all of our American people.”
“For example, how can I in good conscience vote for a bill that proposes massive expansion to social programs when vital programs like Social Security and Medicare faces insolvency and benefits could start being reduced as soon as 2026 in Medicare and 2033 in Social Security? How does that make sense?” Manchin added. “And I don’t think it does. Meanwhile, elected leaders continue to ignore exploding inflation, that our national debt continues to grow and interest payments on the debt will start to rapidly increase when the Fed has to start raising interest rates to try to slow down this runaway inflation.”
Manchin explained that it “is a recipe for economic crisis. None of us should ever represent to the American people what the real cost of legislation is. While I’ve worked hard to find a path to compromise, it’s obvious compromise is not good enough for a lot of my colleagues in Congress. It’s all or nothing and their position doesn’t seem to change unless we agree to everything. Enough is enough. It’s time our elected leaders in Washington, all of us, stop playing games with the needs of the American people and holding a critical infrastructure bill hostage.”
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