Manchin tanks Biden's $1.75 trillion spending plan

  • In Politics
  • 2021-12-19 15:19:19Z
  • By Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin will not support the president's Build Back Better legislation, he told "Fox News Sunday" on Sunday, all but guaranteeing the end of the $1.75 trillion spending package that is the center piece of the Biden agenda.

Driving the news: According to a source familiar with Manchin's remarks, both the White House and leadership were notified Sunday morning before the show.

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The big picture: "My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk," the West Virginia Democrat said in a statement released after his appearance on the Sunday show.

  • While it's still unclear what became the final straw for Manchin, President Biden and the senator had been locked in a disagreement over how long BBB programs should be funded, people familiar with the matter told Axios on Wednesday.

  • "My concerns have only increased as the pandemic surges on, inflation rises and geopolitical uncertainty increases around the world," Manchin said in the Sunday statement.

Biden told Manchin in a Monday phone call that he didn't want to budge from his plan to fund some of his programs for one year, and others for 10 years, Axios reported at the time.

  • Manchin was equally clear: Before negotiating which individual programs should survive, he wants to agree to a common denominator for their funding term.

Between the lines: Democratic senators feel blindsided. Multiple members, at least, were not given a heads up about the change or the decision to announce it on "Fox News Sunday" morning, and their offices are now scrambling to hold meetings with their staff over how to respond, Senate aides tell Axios.

But, but, but: It's clear Manchin doesn't support the Build Back Better package as it stands now. But it's still unclear whether he'll get behind separate legislation passing some of these key provisions.

  • "BBB is dead," a source familiar with Manchin's remarks makes clear to Axios. "Anything else is hypothetical at this point."

What he's saying: "For five and a half months, I have worked as diligently as possible meeting with President Biden, Majority Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and my colleagues on every end of the political spectrum to determine the best path forward despite my serious reservations," Manchin said in a statement.

  • "I have made my concerns clear through public statements, op-eds and private conversations," he said, adding: "I have always said, 'If I can't go back home and explain it, I can't vote for it.' Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation."

  • "I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address the needs of all Americans and do so in a way that does not risk our nation's independence, security and way of life," he said.

Axios' Alayna Treene contributed reporting.

Editor's note: This is a developing story and has been updated throughout.


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