Manchin’s Opposition to Build Back Better Doesn’t Make Him a Racist

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of

On November 1, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) held a press conference in which he thoughtfully explained why he remains on the fence concerning President Biden’s Build Back Better reconciliation package.


According to Manchin, “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.”

More specifically, Manchin clarified that he cannot “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.”

Shortly after Manchin’s press conference, Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) responded with an abhorrent racial attack against the senator from West Virginia.

“Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-immigrant,” said Bush.

She added, “Joe Manchin does not get to dictate the future of our country. … Senator Manchin must support the Build Back Better Act.”

Make no mistake, Manchin made absolutely no references to race, gender, or immigration status when he respectfully reflected on why he does not currently support the Build Back Better agenda.

On the other hand, almost all of Manchin’s issues with the bloated reconciliation package stem from his concerns about the long-term social and economic impacts of the bill.

As Manchin described, “I for one won’t support a multi-trillion dollar bill without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects of inflation and debt that have on our economy and existing government programs.”


He continued, “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?”

Manchin raises a valid point regarding the bill’s impact on Medicare and Social Security. Both of these programs are already on the verge of bankruptcy. It makes absolutely no sense to expand these programs, which is what Build Back Better would do.

Aside from the existing entitlement expansions, Manchin also has qualms about the bill’s long-term effect on the federal budget.

“As more of the real details outline and the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games, budgets gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount,” said Manchin.

Once again, Manchin hit the nail on the head.

In their rush to push Biden’s Build Back Better agenda through Congress, the Democrats have resorted to budgetary shenanigans in an effort to make the bill seem less expensive. Remember, this comes after Biden and many other high-ranking Democrats said the bill would cost $0.

Fortunately, Manchin seems unaffected by his party’s desperate attempts to paint him as a racist for opposing a bill that he genuinely believes would do more harm than good.


Still, Bush’s intraparty attack on Manchin shows that the left’s obsession with identity politics knows no bounds.

Manchin simply articulated a well-reasoned argument as to why he opposes a bill that he believes would make America’s current economic plight worse, not better.

Bush, as the left is inclined to do, ignored Manchin’s genuine and reasonable assertions, and instead resorted to race-baiting.

Yet, by doing so, Bush has put her own party in peril of not passing Biden’s Build Back Better agenda.

Stay strong, Sen. Manchin. The American people know you are not a racist because you oppose a bill that would cripple the U.S. economy with more debt and socialist policies.

Sen. Manchin is not a racist, he simply has commonsense, which is in short supply on the left side of the political spectrum these days.

Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is senior editor at The Heartland Institute.


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