Build Back Better Bill Blocked, Biden Blames GOP

Build Back Better Bill Blocked, Biden Blames GOP

Build Back Better Bill Blocked, Biden Blames GOP

By all measures, the Build Back Better bill is almost assuredly dead in the Senate.

The Biden White House has been focused wholeheartedly on appeasement as a matter of policy. China giving them headaches? Placate them. Putin giving them headaches? Offer him Ukraine. Joe Manchin giving them headaches over the Build Back Better bill? Try and negotiate for whatever will make Manchin happy enough to pass the enormously pork-laden crap sandwich that Biden is trying to hang his legislative legacy on.

What would make Manchin happy? Keeping his Senate seat in deep red West Virginia. How does he do that? By not voting for Build Back Better. This is something that Democrats have continually failed to grasp. So convinced that every Democrat can be bought, they have run into the brick wall of Manchin and have no idea what to do now.

Mr. Manchin hasn’t committed himself either way on the bill, but he has been consistent in what he wants. He made that clear in a memo he wrote in July in private talks with Mr. Schumer that later leaked to the media. His top-line spending amount for 10 years was $1.5 trillion, which he later increased to $1.75 trillion.”

He has also been consistent in his calls to “pause” to evaluate the growing threat of inflation and has been equally consistent in seeking a bill free of budget gimmicks, fossil-fuel penalties and new entitlements that aren’t means-tested or don’t require work.”

His colleagues’ response has been to bull ahead as if Mr. Manchin doesn’t mean it. They assume that the West Virginian, as a deal-making politician, will eventually come around. But they seem not to notice that Mr. Manchin’s concerns are as much economic as political.”

The Senator has ample support for his positions in West Virginia, where a recent poll showed three-quarters of residents oppose the Biden plan. The wonder is that more Democrats don’t appreciate his points. Voters in November rebuked the progressive agenda nationwide. Trying to ram through $5 trillion in spending when the public is most worried about inflation and Covid is an act of willful political malpractice.”

Democrats thought they could buy off Manchin, and then leverage him against Kyrsten Sinema to make sure they had 50 votes. Instead, they discovered that Manchin likes being a senator from West Virginia, and has no intention of jeopardizing that position. Biden’s desire to pass the Build Back Better Act had already led to a huge reduction in what the Squad and the Progressive Caucus had wanted from the BBB. Now they are realizing they might not be getting anything at all.

Joe Manchin has been called names and Bernie Sanders tried shaming him. Now he’s been fêted, humored, wined and dined by the White House and Democrat leadership – apparently all for naught.

He isn’t budging. And Joe Biden knows it.

Biden issued a statement in the evening as it became increasingly apparent the Democratic senators would not meet their Christmas deadline, in large part because of unyielding opposition from one holdout: Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.”

The president said that in their recent discussions, the West Virginia senator has reiterated his support for the framework he, the president and other Democrats had agreed to on the flagship bill. Biden said he also briefed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer earlier Thursday about the most recent round of talks with Manchin.”

“I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition,” Biden said in the statement.”

Whoa whoa whoa wait a minute there, President Brandon. Last I checked, your part had the majority in the House, and in the Senate, and currently holds the White House. That isn’t going to stop Grandpa Joe from blaming the GOP for not passing the Build Back Better Act. If you read his statement in full, he is quite clearly looking to put the onus on Republicans for not passing the bill.

Build Back Better is urgently needed to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health care, child care, and elder care. Notwithstanding the unrelenting Republican obstruction – not a single Republican is willing to move forward on the bill – I am determined to see this bill enacted into law, to give America’s families the breathing room they deserve. We also need urgent action on climate change and other priorities in the Build Back Better plan.”

Yes, he can’t come out and blame Manchin, not when he’s trying to wheedle Manchin into voting for this crap. So it must be the REPUBLICANS’ fault. That tactic might make sense if the Build Back Better bill was popular. It’s not. Not even NPR can pretend that the bill has widespread support.

Just 41% of the survey’s respondents said they support the Build Back Better bill, the roughly $2 trillion bill currently being negotiated in Congress. Nearly three-quarters of all Democrats said the (sic) support the bill but only 36% of independents and 13% of Republicans agreed.”

There is no political benefit for the Republicans to cave to Biden’s wishes here, so they won’t. Biden can’t risk offending Manchin, not when he’s trying to convince him to vote for the bill. Joe Manchin is in the driver’s seat here, and no amount of blame that Biden casts on the GOP is going to change that.

Oh, and the parliamentarian told the Senate YET AGAIN that immigration policy language is a no-go in the Build Back Better bill. It’s like the Democrats are children asking Mommy for a cookie, hoping to wear her down with multiple asks. It’s not happening.

This impasse between Biden and Manchin is the likely death-knell for Build Back Better, and everyone knows it. The progressives would simply howl their heads off if more of their precious pork was cut out of the bill to satisfy Manchin, and Manchin is standing firm. There is no way that the bill sees a vote in an election year, and as soon as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st and the calendar turns to 2022, the midterms are on. And when that happens, any senator looking to be re-elected in a red or purple state is going to have to think about their campaign ads and their opponent’s attack ads, and not about what Joe Biden wants.

Featured image via Proulain on Pixabay, cropped, Pixabay license

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