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Progressives slammed Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., after he revealed Sunday that he would not support President Biden’s massive social spending bill known as the Build Back Better Act after months of party negotiations.
“Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bull—-,” Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted. “The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans. This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., closes the door of an elevator after a Democratic policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Dec. 16, 2021. (REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz)
Manchin said earlier on “Fox News Sunday” that he had spoken with Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., but could not reach an agreement on the multi-trillion-dollar legislation. In the end, Manchin said that between ongoing inflation, the national debt, “geopolitical unrest” and the COVID-19 pandemic, the bill being pushed by his fellow Democrats was too much.
“What we need to do is get our financial house in order but be able to pay for what we do and do what we pay for,” he said.
During an appearance on MSNBC, Omar said she knew Manchin “couldn’t be trusted.”
“The excuses that he just made, I think, are complete bull—-,” she said. “It is really disheartening to hear him say that he has been trying to get there for the people of West Virginia because that’s a complete lie. … There are just so many things that, you know, the people of West Virginia desperately need, and we know that he is not working on behalf of their interest, and I really am just completely disappointed and disgusted by his reasoning.”
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., talks to reporters after taking a photo with a bipartisan group of Congress members to honor National Recovery Month at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sept. 27, 2021. (Reuters)
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who caucuses with Democrats, said Manchin has “a lot of explaining to do,” and that he still wants the legislation to be brought forward for a floor vote so that Manchin can “vote no in front of the whole world.”
“We’ve been dealing with Mr. Manchin for month after month after month,” Sanders told CNN. “But if he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world.”
“Manchin is a tour de force in gaslighting and dishonesty,” tweeted Rep. Mondaire Jones, D-N.Y. “’We’ve got COVID’ — but Manchin just voted with Republicans to overturn Biden’s employer vaccine and testing requirements. ‘We’ve got inflation’ — but Build Back Better would cut costs for millions of working families.”
“Joe Manchin’s Christmas gift to the American people? Higher household costs, expensive medications, and climate catastrophe,” Jones added. “Coal would have been a lot easier.”
“Wow @Sen_JoeManchin, with all due respect, when you say you’re a no on Build Back Better – is it you?” tweeted Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y. “Or is it the special interest [money emoji] that powers you? I’m inviting you to my district to see just how badly we need this bill. Will you tell my community ‘No’ to our face?”
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., defended President Biden’s sinking poll numbers, suggesting they’ll rise before the 2022 midterms. (Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“To be clear, my lack and deficit of trust was about Senator Manchin,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., told CNN. “He has continued to move the goal post. He has never negotiated in good faith, and he is obstructing the president’s agenda.”
“Joe Manchin pretends to have a problem with the cost of a $1.75T investment over 10 years in the American people, but has no problem with giving $9T to weapons makers and the military,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., tweeted.
“Simply put @Sen_JoeManchin won’t support legislation that would create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for families. And that has ability to address structural racism by making key investments into our communities. Did we miss any other excuses … sorry explanations?” the NAACP tweeted.
Some Republicans hailed Manchin’s stance.
“BREAKING: Joe Manchin on Build Back Better: ‘This is a no on this legislation.’ America has dodged a serious bullet. BBB is dead. Merry Christmas!” tweeted Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.
“THANK YOU JOE MANCHIN,” former GOP congressional candidate Laverne Spicer tweeted.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Cameron Cawthorne contributed to this report.