Joe Manchin Gives Savage Response When Pressed on Build Back Better

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

With the first month of the new year in the books, eyes are beginning to turn back toward Joe Biden’s currently stalled agenda. Back in December, Joe Manchin ended the push to pass the president’s Build Back Better bill, citing concerns about inflation, provisions that were included against his wishes, and the national debt.


After Christmas, Manchin doubled down, letting it be known that his original offer is off the table and that any negotiations will have to start from scratch. Now, we have an answer on how that’s going – not well.

When pressed on Build Back Better, Manchin savagely responded that the bill doesn’t even exist, pointedly proclaiming that it’s dead.

As you can expect, that led to lots of gnashing of teeth, insisting that Biden and Democrats would make Manchin pay for his disobedience. But how, exactly, are they going to do that? We are only where we are right now because Manchin has all the leverage. Sometimes you just don’t have the votes, and no amount of threats are going to change things. Manchin’s home state overwhelmingly supports how he’s handled things.

Clearly, the White House isn’t taking this seriously, either. If they still want to pass something, why have they not reopened the lines of communication to try to get negotiations going up and running again? Does Ron Klain not have time in between retweeting Jennifer Rubin? I think Manchin’s use of the term “dead” is fairly indicative of where things stand, though. If there was any hope of a resurrection of the president’s agenda here, handing Biden a big win prior to the mid-terms, I doubt Manchin would be so final in his language. That he’s willing to go that far is telling.


Besides, the details just don’t work. The White House wants another extension of the child tax credit, a SALT cap increase, and numerous climate change provisions. Manchin is against those things because his state takes a bath on at least two of them. And if Democrats agree to remove those from the bill, what’s left? Universal pre-K? That’s not the victory Biden and Democrats are seeking, and they probably figure it’s better to pass nothing at all at this point than to get so thoroughly embarrassed heading into November’s election.

These are the fruits of winning a 50/50 majority in the Senate. Democrats want to govern like they’ve got FDR margins, but all they’ve done is overextend themselves. Now, they’ve gotten put in their place by a guy who has nothing to gain by giving them anything. Manchin will fall in line and vote for whatever radical Biden nominates to the Supreme Court, but he knows where his bread is buttered on the policy front, and it’s not in Washington, DC.


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