Joe Manchin wasn’t playing around today. Just to make sure that Joe Biden understood him, he did interviews on ABC, NBC, and CNN to reiterate that he was holding to his “strategic pause” on Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan, the $3.5 trillion boondoggle. He’s indicated his intentions in the past , but he’s clearly trying to send a big message to Biden today.
Manchin told CNN’s Dana Bash Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would not have his support for the plan, and he would not be voting for it. He said they’ve already cut a lot of money out with the CARES package and the American Rescue Plan, and there are millions of jobs not being filled. That there isn’t any urgency to push through the $3.5 trillion plan.
Manchin went into more detail with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on why he wouldn’t be voting for it — among other reasons, because of the enormous price tag, which is on top of what they already spent this year, and on top of a $1.7 trillion measure that is more about real infrastructure.
“No one is talking about inflation or debt, and we should have that as part of the discussion, and then the geopolitical, what’s going on around the world and what type of challenges we may face.
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So the unknown is there, and we don’t know what that’s going to — going to partake. What we do know is that, basically, the need for this, the emergency to do something in the next week is not there.
We’ve done $5.4 trillion, George, over the last year and about a year and a half, $5.4 trillion, and a lot of that money is still going out the door. There’s no one going to be left behind for the rest of this year and most of next year.”
Manchin also made clear that his priority was the infrastructure plan, and that that was the bill that needed urgency. He said he was going to support moving on the bipartisan infrastructure bill first and by itself, that he wasn’t going to go along with the effort by progressives to tie that to the $3.5 trillion plan. That essentially would kill the Democrats’ effort, if they don’t have his support on that.
So right now, it looks like, despite Biden’s pushing, Manchin is going to continue to lock it up. Meanwhile, the progressives could end up killing the infrastructure bill in order to try — and fail — to get their pie in the sky wish list of far-left agenda items to maximize Democratic control.