In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin (D) spoke frankly about his concerns with the proposed Build Back Better bill. At this time, with the Senate split 50/50 between the Democrats and the Republicans, his can be the deciding vote on the fate of the bill.
The bill is called the Build Back Better Act. Joe Manchin said he cannot support this legislation. He believes the bill is a too expensive piece of legislation for him to consider. Most of his Democrat colleagues have been trying to push the bill through for months. He’s been facing a lot of pressure and criticism from some of the politicians in his party.
Senator Manchin has been intensely studying the bill, which is over 2,000 pages long, for approximately five and a half months since it was proposed by the Biden Administration. As originally proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders, President Joe Biden, and the President’s other advisors, the bill exceeded $5 trillion. It contains a mammoth amount of social spending. There are also new tax implications within the bill. He had expressed to his party that he would be willing to negotiate the bill.
To that end, Senator Manchin met with Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Manchin was successful in getting some of the Biden agenda items reduced or removed from the bill, but it’s still too lofty for the senator. Joe Manchin has said that there are parts of the legislation that he could support, however, not in the context of this bill. As his Sunday interview made clear, Manchin is not giving in even amidst the verbal criticism he’s continuing to receive from his Democrat Party’s leaders.
Senator Manchin put forth his reasons why he cannot vote yes for the bill. The country is facing uncertain economic times. Inflation is on the rise and, as Manchin and many experts believe, it is likely to get worse for quite some time before it gets better. He also included the impact of Covid-19 and its subsequent variants as a major concern. The senator wants his party to focus on these issues rather than pushing to get this enormous bill passed. Moreover, he is deeply concerned about the amount of debt that the country is dealing with. It’s not the right time for the government to be spending trillions of dollars more of taxpayer money that will only add to the national debt. With trillions of dollars of legislation already passed in 2021, the debt level hovers around 30 trillion dollars. Manchin also indicated that he cannot agree to a bill that would potentially put America’s energy independence in jeopardy.
Senator Manchin ultimately believes all of the additional spending in the Build Back Better bill will hurt the American people and the country. He is also choosing to vote no on the bill for his fellow West Virginians. The senator does not want to go home to West Virginia and have to explain to his constituents why such a massive spending bill was passed knowing what’s in it. He is not willing to hurt hard-working Americans, and Joe Manchin plans to hold firm with his “no” vote.