Senator Joe Manchin once again shattered hopes that the Senate would approve President Biden’s ambitious Build back Better social spending plan. Manchin, D.W.Va., stated Tuesday to reporters at the Capitol that there is no Build Back Better revival. “There’s not.”
Manchin stated that legislation that addresses “major social change” – such as BBB’s efforts to address free preschool, clean energy projects, and health care – must go through the regular Senate process to “build consensus.”
“You may think that reconciliation is necessary because you have a wonderful piece of legislation. But people are playing politics with it. Manchin stated that… There have not been hearings on any one of these matters.
The Senate is evenly divided. Therefore, all 50 Democratic senators must work together to pass sweeping spending legislation via budget reconciliation. However, Sen. Kyrsten Silena (D-Ariz.) and Senator Manchin have both previously opposed the $2 trillion environmental and social spending bill that was passed by the House in November. Since then, efforts to pass a more manageable bill they could support have failed.
After a spring break, environmental groups, lobbyists, and progressives are putting forth a new effort to get at most something in the Senate before the November midterm elections.
Many legislators view July 4th as a critical deadline to pass something before the midterm season. According to conversations with officials from the White House, they are “really afraid” that they won’t be able to reach an agreement with Manchin.
Manchin, who has raised concerns over inflation-causing excess spending, didn’t give any indication Tuesday that he was in hurry to do something.
He stated that reconciliation should be used to obtain financial resources and the U.S. financial system is not in order due to runaway inflation which is affecting everyday Americans.
Manchin spoke out about inflation, which hit a 40 year high.
“It is a tax, and there’s no way you can hide that.”
Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), met Tuesday morning with Manchin at the Capitol to discuss a path forward. Schumer believes that the only way to combat inflation is to reverse some of President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts. The budget reconciliation process is necessary for this.