Moderate West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin has persistently rejected the White House’s massive spending plan, known as Build Back Better.
Instead, Manchin argues for supporting fewer initiatives for extended periods, rather than allowing a wide range of services for short durations in the bill’s anticipated cost.
Rep. Katie Porter: "It's no wonder why economists are cutting their forecasts for U.S. economic growth following Sen. Manchin's comments. The Build Back Better Act combats inflation and invests in what we need for a strong … economy. We must forge on."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 22, 2021
Saying His Decision Was Based on Prejudice, Racism
Rep. Jamaal Bowman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus attributed Manchin’s rejection of the “Build Back Better” bill to racism. Bowman, a Democratic-socialist, framed the Build Back Better Act’s defeat as an apocalyptic danger.
Bowman opposed the bipartisan infrastructure measure last autumn when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to approve it before introducing Build Back Better to the floor.
Progressive Caucus Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal released a blistering written response after Manchin’s announcement, calling him a liar. According to Jayapal, Sen. Manchin has broken his pledge to the president, Democrats, and the American people.
Her remarks reflected the left’s perception that Manchin pledged to support Build Back Better, which liberal Democrats highlighted as a basis for isolating the infrastructure package from the budget plan.
President Biden approved the measure in November. Manchin claims his concerns about the proposal haven’t changed during negotiations, and Democrat leadership failed to make revisions he claims would win his support.
Saying Manchin Lied, Deceived the President
Last week, at a speech regarding COVID-19, Biden charged Manchin with secretly admitting he deceived leftist lawmakers. Liberals worry Manchin tricked them into tearing apart the economic stimulus package and Build Back Better.
The president went farther, implying Manchin bragged about doing it on purpose. However, the White House had to retract Biden’s remarks. According to CNN, the president wants to clarify that Sen. Manchin did not describe himself as deceptive.
This week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aimed at both Manchin and the Democrat congressmembers who negotiated with him.
.@AOC: "Of course, we have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin. But it's really up to leadership in the Democratic Party who made the decision to get us to this juncture and how we're going to move forward." pic.twitter.com/nqdhlY7fw4
— Quint Forgey (@QuintForgey) December 20, 2021
The far-left New York Democrat accused Manchin of deceiving Biden by delaying conversations with the president. She feels what Sen. Manchin did was an outrageous betrayal of the president’s confidence.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, blasted Manchin for a bizarre flip-flop on bills he’s long despised. She said Manchin’s decision contradicted his recent conversations with the president and White House personnel.
Because it was the White House’s most direct attack on Manchin in months of public and private efforts to bring him on board with Build Back Better, Psaki’s heated statements were widely regarded as a sign the White House was done talking.
The Biden administration now looks to be taking a more conciliatory approach.
Psaki subsequently said Biden’s objective is to work with Manchin on the budget package. However, during a White House conference, she hinted her initial harshness was just an attempt to match Manchin’s hostility to the measure.
Since the announcement, Biden and Manchin have allegedly spoken on the phone in a polite chat.