(TruthandLiberty.com) – For nearly six months, Democrats arrogantly pushed ahead with plans to enact Joe Biden’s social and climate change Build Back Better proposal. In the early fall, Manchin signaled his unease with the Democratic proposal as inflation skyrocketed and the then-$3.5 trillion bill would add to the ever-increasing national debt. In October, he warned the Left he wasn’t a liberal, and if they didn’t want to negotiate with him, they could elect more Progressive Senators.
In an evenly divided, 50/50 Senate, one representative can hold an immense amount of power. It’s a challenge to negotiate massive socially engineered proposals in Congress with razor-thin margins. In the 1940s and 1960s, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson had massive Democratic majorities enabling them to push through the New Deal and the Great Society.
President Joe Biden doesn’t have that, and Manchin made it clear he preferred bipartisanship where possible. On Sunday, December 19, the worst thing that could happen to Democrats occurred: Manchin emphatically stated that he would vote “no” on Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better agenda.
Manchin Ends Negotiations
For months, Manchin negotiated in good faith. In October, he and the president worked together to scale down the massive $3.5 trillion plan to $1.75. In November, House Democrats ignored the negotiated framework, inserted accounting gimmicks and tricks into the bill, passed it and sent it to the Senate, where it ultimately met its doom.
On Sunday, Manchin said he did everything humanly possible to negotiate in good faith. In the end, he determined there was no way he could support the legislation. Manchin hails from deep-red West Virginia, and over the last few months, he expressed his constituents were telling him they were concerned about inflation and the impact of the legislation on their lives. Manchin is the only elected Democrat in the upper echelon of politics of the Mountain State, which voted over 60% for Trump in 2020.
If he couldn’t explain to voters why he voted for the bill, Manchin always stated he wouldn’t go along with Democrats’ plans to alter America’s economy, welfare state, or energy production needs.
Will Democrats Go Back to the Drawing Board?
After Manchin made his announcement, Democrats turned their ire on the West Virginia moderate. The most pronounced criticism came directly from the White House, where Press Secretary Jen Psaki all but accused Manchin of lying to President Biden. On Monday, Manchin shot back and said staffers leaked misinformation after the announcement. It’s not clear if Manchin was talking about Psaki’s claims or others in the White House.
Regardless of the outcome of this bill, Democrats still need Manchin in an evenly divided Senate. The question moving forward is, did they ruin any goodwill or trust with him?
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared to finally get the message the bill the House passed couldn’t make it through the Senate. She vowed to continue negotiating after the first of the year in hopes of passing something.
How might a compromise look? Could the House and Senate propose to pass certain pieces of the Build Back Better agenda individually? Stay tuned.
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