My PJ Media colleague Matt Margolis broke the news earlier that Senator Joe Manchin had decided not to vote for Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better spendapalooza.
While this was not entirely unexpected, the White House and their allies on the far left couldn’t contain their disappointment. Biden Spokesperson Jen Psaki gave a harsh response to Manchin’s decision.
Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances. Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith.”
On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.
Biden and Manchin appeared to be headed toward some kind of compromise earlier in the week. But in the end, Manchin, in good conscience, simply couldn’t support such massive government spending on top of the $5 trillion that’s already been appropriated — not with inflation raging and no end in sight to the pandemic.
In announcing his opposition, Manchin raised the same concerns about the bill that he’s had all along: inflation, rising debt and a mismatch between the package’s 10-year funding and its shorter-term programs. But until Sunday, Manchin had never taken a hard line on the legislation. In the past week, he’s spoken directly to Biden several times, with the president and other Democrats furiously lobbying him to support the bill.
Psaki’s caustic comments about Manchin’s doublecross were mild compared to the rage of the far left. Bernie Sanders sounded like the bitter old man he truly is.
“Well, I think he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia, to tell him why he doesn’t have the guts to take on the drug companies to lower the cost of prescription drugs,” he said. “West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country. You got elderly people and disabled people who would like to stay at home. He’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t want to expand Medicare to cover dental hearing and eyeglasses.”
He continued: “I’ve been to West Virginia a number of times, and it’s a great state, beautiful people, but it is a state that is struggling. And he’s going to have to tell the people of West Virginia why he’s rejecting what the scientists of the world are telling us that we have to act boldly and transform our energy system to protect future generations from the devastation of climate change.”
Bernie doesn’t have to run for office in West Virginia. He’s a Senator from one of the most liberal states in the nation. Perhaps he should be mindful of his own state’s inhabitants before he goes off trying to save others.
There was humor, unintended though it was, in some reactions. PoliticsUSA decided the best way to punish Manchin was to hand control of the Senate to Republicans.
Each day those of us desperately waiting for the advancement of President Joe Biden’s transformational Build Back Better plan watch the news breathlessly to learn the latest on the positions of Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. With the simple force of “no,” of inertia, these two hold-outs have double-handedly, for the moment, overpowered the voice of the other 48 Democratic senators prepared to pass historic legislation to address climate change, drastically reduce child poverty, provide families with support for childcare, move toward creating tax equity, and more.
Oh, my. Those horrible people! What punishment do they deserve, friends?
If they’re going to act like Republicans, then Biden and the Democrats need to treat them like Republicans.
Ousting them from the party will do more to save Biden’s agenda in the short and long term than continuing to cajole and placate the irrational and disingenuous game-players that Manchin and Sinema are.
But … but … wouldn’t that hand the Senate to Republicans? Ach! Details, details. The important thing is that it would make the radicals feel better.
Manchin has to deal with these children all the time, so he’s used to this kind of stupidity. But perhaps Manchin should start thinking about where he, as a red state senator, would be more welcome?