Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has faced the wrath of his own party after announcing this week that he would oppose President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending package.
While the moderate senator’s action appears to be enough to signal the bill’s defeat in an evenly divided Senate, Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) confirmed on Monday that he would nevertheless bring the legislation up for a vote early next year.
“We will keep voting on it”
According to the Washington Examiner, Schumer also vowed to schedule a vote on a partisan voting rights package and threatened to “consider changes” to the filibuster procedure requiring 60 votes for most bills to pass.
His remarks were clearly a public response to Manchin’s determination to stop his own party’s progressive agenda.
In a letter to fellow Democrats on Monday, Schumer referenced the “deep discontent and frustration” caused by opposition from Republicans and Manchin to the spending bill and voting rights proposal.
The Senate leader went on to declare that Democrats “are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act — and we will keep voting on it until we get something done.”
Turning his attention to the other side of the aisle, Schumer chastised the GOP for utilizing the filibuster to block consideration of the voting rights legislation.
“Cannot vote to continue”
“If Senate Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster and prevent the body from considering this bill, the Senate will then consider changes to any rules which prevent us from debating and reaching final conclusion on important legislation,” Schumer wrote.
Of course, both Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) appear likely to oppose any efforts by their party to eliminate or weaken the filibuster.
As for Manchin, he explained during a Fox News Channel appearance on Sunday why he “cannot vote to continue” with the Build Back Better bill as written.
In a more detailed statement later in the day, his office noted the potentially negative impact such massive spending could have on the nation’s economy as rising inflation already presents a significant burden for Americans nationwide.
Although Senate Democrats have expressed fierce opposition to Manchin’s stance, plenty of his Republican colleagues clearly welcome his input.