Manchin tanks Biden’s Build Back Better plan during live Fox News interview

President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better legislation appears to be dead, putting his legislative agenda in total jeopardy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Fox News reports Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a moderate senator with a crucial vote on the bill, publicly stated during a Fox News interview that he will not support the legislation in its current iteration. 

“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” Manchin said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

“This is a no,” the Democratic senator added. “I have tried everything I know to do.”

What happened?

Biden’s Build Back Better Act recently made it through the U.S. House of Representatives, and, afterward, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) made it a goal of his to get the measure through the Senate before the Christmas break. The legislation, however, stalled in the upper chamber.

Sen. Manchin’s unwillingness to support the package in its original form continued to stall any progress on the legislation, said to be Biden’s legacy bill.

The Senate, which is comprised of a 50-50 split with the tie-breaking vote guaranteed to go to Democrats given that Vice President Kamala Harris has tie-breaking power. Normally, this would have meant that the Build Back Better bill had no chance to meet the 60-vote threshold required for standard legislation. Instead, Democrats had used the reconciliation process which lowers the threshold to a simple majority vote to pass it.

Lacking even a single Republican Senate vote meant that Dems needed every single Democratic senator, plus Harris, to pass the bill and send it to the president’s desk. Given Manchin’s tanking of the bill, that will no longer happen.

Recent developments

When it became clear that Manchin was going to be a problem, Democratic leadership, including Biden’s White House, began a presumably arduous process of convincing Manchin to get on board.

Manchin, according to NPR, was in negotiations with the White House for some time. However, it became clear that no progress was made in those negotiations. Biden, at the end of last week, publicly stated that given the way negotiations had stalled, it was unlikely that the Christmas deadline would be met.

It was only a few days later, on Sunday, that Manchin came out and publicly state that he will not be voting for the bill.

As long as Manchin sticks to his guns, and it very much appears that that is the case, Biden’s Build Back Better legislation is dead, which is about as good a Christmas present as Americans can get from the current administration.

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