After Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) let it be known Sunday that he will not support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stepped forward to suggest that negotiations will continue and that she remains “hopeful” that an agreement will be reached in the new year, as Fox News reports.
Manchin appeared on Fox News Sunday over the weekend and announced in no uncertain terms that he “cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” and that while he has “tried everything humanly possible” to come to mutually acceptable terms with those pushing the bill, he simply “can’t get there.”
Pelosi reacted to Manchin’s declaration – without naming him specifically – in a “Dear Colleague” letter issued on Sunday evening in which she expressed disappointment that “we may not have a law by the end of the year, we are hopeful that we will soon reach agreement so that this vital legislation can pass as soon as possible next year.”
The speaker also claimed that there was already consensus on the bill’s “fundamental framework” including what she called the “most critical provisions” such as the Child Tax Credit, strategies for addressing climate change, home health care expansions, and enhancements to the Affordable Care Act, according to Fox News.
Manchin’s statement indicating his inability to support Biden’s massive social spending initiative was greeted with notable anger from the White House, with press secretary Jen Psaki claiming that Manchin broke a promise to keep negotiating on some of the bill’s key provisions, as CBS News noted.
“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,” Psaki said in a statement, adding that if the West Virginia lawmaker has no intention of continuing talks, his stance is a “sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Not surprisingly, Manchin’s position was met with incandescent rage from members of the far-left “Squad” in Congress, with Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) declaring that his justifications for walking away from the legislation amounted to bulls***” and Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) blasting fellow Democrats who “agreed to tie the fate of our most vulnerable communities to the corporatist ego of one Senator.”
On the other side of the coin was Republican Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida who said to Fox News of Manchin’s decision, “I think this is actually great news for the country. It was a bad bill. Everybody knows it’s a bad bill, especially where our economy is.”
Though Pelosi was joined Monday by Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in vowing to hold a vote on a revised version of the bill “very early in the new year,” it remains to be seen whether the holdout from West Virginia – and fellow Democrat skeptic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona – can be swayed by whatever concessions his party colleagues may ultimately offer.