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Manchin Says He Won’t Vote For Better Back Building Act

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By Daniella Diaz, CNN

Sen Democracy. Joe Manchin in West Virginia said he had no Rebuild action better, effectively concluding negotiations on this version of the law that would expand the nation’s social safety net.

Manchin has always been a key player to the law, sharing concerns about some provisions of the massive tax and spending bill and how it could exacerbate Inflation soars domestic.

“And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I can not. I have tried everything humanly possible. I can’t go there,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is not in this law. I’ve tried everything I know to do. And the President worked diligently. He was amazing to work with. He knows I’ve had concerns and problems that I’ve had and, you know, what we should all be focusing our attention on is the variant, the one Covid that we’re back at. with us in so many different ways in different ways, it affects our lives. ”

Manchin’s support for the bill – $1.9 trillion spending plan focus on expanding the nation’s social safety net, reducing Americans’ health and childcare costs, and climate change – is essential for Democrats to pass legislation this using a process known as budget adjustment, which means it will only need 51 votes to pass.

In a statement his office released after the interview, Manchin reiterated that he could not support the legislation.

“I always say, ‘If I can’t go home and explain it, I can’t vote for it.’ Despite my best efforts, I cannot interpret the Better Rebuilding Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to continue implementing this massive piece of legislation,” he said in the statement.

A person familiar with the discussions between Presidents Joe Biden and Manchin told CNN that it was clear Manchin was moving in this direction as Biden privately told aides this week he was no longer confident that he finally had could bring the West Virginia Democrats in. But White House officials were surprised when Manchin informed them Sunday morning that he had reached a final decision.

According to the source, their reaction was clearly not positive. A senior administration official told CNN it was “a total surprise.” Manchin informed the White House that they were the first to know and he has yet to tell his staff.

Two sources familiar with Manchin’s position communication said CNN staff from Manchin’s office were in direct contact with the White House and Democratic leadership about 30-40 minutes before Manchin resumed. Fox.

In the face of criticism from progressives, Manchin supported the bill because he did not, saying he was in favor of holding a vote on the bill.

“Here’s the point, when it’s time, vote, I said. Just vote. If that’s what people need to show where they are, then vote,” he said on Fox News.

He added: “They tried to make this adjustment, this adjustment, or just tried to adjust the time to fit the pocket or the amount to fit the time, not changing their approach. us, not targeting what we should be doing. Make sure the people who really need it get it. Make sure we can do things in a much better way. We have things that we can do in a bipartisan way, the way the Senate has to work if we’re going to let it happen. Just go through the committees, let’s get to work”.

CNN has reached out to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for comment.

White House makes cursed statement against Manchin

In a notable statement attacking a member of Mr Biden’s party, the White House said Manchin’s comments “contradict his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff and with his public statements. The statement set out what the White House claimed were details of Manchin’s discussions with the President; which the government was reluctant to do.

“On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin went to the White House and presented directly – directly to the President – ​​a written outline for the Build Back Better bill of the same size and scope. within the framework of the President, and encompasses many of the same priorities,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki wrote in the statement. “While that framework lacks key priorities, we believe it can lead to a compromise that is acceptable to all.”

According to Psaki, Manchin “promises to continue the conversations in the coming days and work with us to reach that common ground.”

“If his comments on FOX and the written statement indicate the end of that effort, they represent an abrupt and inexplicable reversal of his position, and violate violated his commitment to the President and Senators’ colleagues in the House and Senate,” Psaki said.

Psaki added: “Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to pressurize him to see if he reverses his position again. or not, to honor his previous commitments and stay true to his word,” the statement read.

How Manchin got there

Manchin had previously raised concerns about the law that passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last month. He wants to reduce bills in a number of areas, including paid leave, methane fees on emissions from energy producers and expanding Medicare to cover hearing costs. He is also seeking to change some provisions of the tax section of the bill.

On the climate provisions of the law, Manchin negotiated for weeks with Senate Environment and Works Chairman Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware. Sticking points have included when the program starts and when it will increase – as well as how much methane companies can emit before paying the Environmental Protection Agency a fee.

In his statement, he said he was concerned about what the legislation would do to the nation’s electricity grid.

“If enacted, the bill would also put the reliability of the grid at risk and increase our reliance on foreign supply chains. “The energy transition my colleagues are looking for is well underway,” he said in his statement. “Over the past two years, as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Resources Committee and with bipartisan support, we have invested billions of dollars in clean energy technology so we can continues to lead the world in emissions reduction through innovation. But doing so at a rate faster than technology or the market allows would have dire consequences for the American people as we have seen in both Texas and California over the past two years.”

Manchin is also concerned about what the legislation will do to the nation’s rising debt and soaring inflation after Congress passed a sweeping stimulus bill earlier this year, as well as an infrastructure bill. of bipartisanship.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze the Rebuild Act Better if the programs in it were not shut down, but extended for 10 years, something Republicans need. believe will show the true cost of the act. The CBO’s analysis of the presumptive law says it will cost more than $5 trillion over the course of 10 years.

Manchin objected to the bill’s structure, arguing that Democrats were hiding the true cost of the bill by relying on temporary programs that would be extended year after year. He has repeatedly said he wants to keep the price tag at $1.75 trillion but has said include temporary measures – such as a one-year extension that extends the child tax credit, which expires on later this month – not “transparent” to the public about its impact on federal spending.

Ultimately, this became one of the biggest concerns for Manchin and led to his decision.

“There’s a lot of good things going on, but that bill is a piece of legislation, a huge thing, and when it’s implemented even if it goes through a regular order, it’s going to be a huge undertaking,” he said. huge,” he said.

Graham praised Manchin for his decision to vote no in a statement Sunday morning.

“I greatly appreciate Senator Manchin’s decision not to support Build Back Better, which is rooted in his understanding of the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill,” he said.

Progressives are not happy

Progressive Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont harshly criticized Manchin for withdrawing his support, saying “I think he’s going to have to explain a lot of work to the people of West Virginia” and urged Democrats to put the bill on a floor vote to force Manchin to vote no on the record.

“My hope is that we will put a strong bill on the Senate floor as soon as possible and let Mr Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he does not have the courage to go against special interests. force,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday’s “State of the Union.”

Sanders added: “If he doesn’t have the guts to do the right thing for working families in West Virginia and the US, let him vote no in front of the whole world.

Representative Ayanna Pressley, a progressive Democrat, echoed Sanders’ criticism of Manchin’s announcement that he would not support the BBB and said she supported Sanders’ call to bring the bill on a floor vote to force Manchin to vote no on record.

Pressley told CNN on Sunday that she doubted the social safety net bill could get through because of Manchin, saying “he’s kept moving the milestones, he’s never negotiated a in good faith and he is obstructing the President’s agenda.”

“We cannot allow a single senator from West Virginia to obstruct the President’s agenda, obstruct the agenda of the people,” Pressley said on “State of the Union.”

Representative Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the radical caucus of Congress, told Tapper in an interview on Friday that she expected this to happen, which is why they wanted to vote on the whole bill. bipartisan infrastructure passed earlier this year and the Rebuild Better Act.

“This is what we fear. That’s why we tied the two bills together to get them through the House,” she said Friday. “And we have heard from the President that he will get 50 votes in the Senate.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

EDIT: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Bernie Sanders’ political party.

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CNN’s Lauren Fox, Chandelis Duster, Aaron Pellish, Sarah Fortinsky, Kaitlin Collins and John Harwood contributed to this report.

https://kesq.com/news/national-politics/cnn-us-politics/2021/12/19/manchin-says-he-wont-vote-for-build-back-better-act-3/ Manchin Says He Won’t Vote For Better Back Building Act

DUSTIN JONES

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