Senator Joe Manchin Delivers a Build Back Better Gut Punch to Fellow Democrats


Democrats should curb the cost of their $2 trillion social and environment bill by choosing their top priorities, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Monday, as he and President Joe Biden prepared to discuss how to advance the long-stalled package.

Manchin, of West Virginia, criticized Democrats’ decision to make many of the measure’s initiatives temporary to limit the bill’s price tag. Speaking to reporters, he said his party should pick its “highest priorities” and have each last the full 10-year life of the bill while keeping its overall cost below $2 trillion, a combination that seems unworkable at this point.

In his first public comments since a pair of government reports were issued last week, Manchin said one showing that inflation is rising at an annual rate of 6.8%, the most in four decades, was “alarming.”

His alarm at the country’s inflation is not new, as is evident in a tweet from the senator last month.

Democratic Congresswoman Now Only Speaks Via AI-Generated Voice After Being Diagnosed With Rare Disease

He also expressed dismay at a Republican-requested analysis that said the legislation would add an additional $3 trillion to federal deficits if all its programs were made permanent. Democrats have derided that report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as ridiculous since they say they would find ways to pay for any extensions of the bill’s programs.

Manchin and Biden planned to talk by phone Monday afternoon, said a person who described the plans only on condition of anonymity.

Biden told reporters at the White House that when he talks to lawmakers, he tries to “convince them that what I’m proposing makes sense and is not inconsistent with what they believe.”

Do you support the Build Back Better plan?

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York hopes to finally move the legislation through the chamber by Christmas.

Manchin, a moderate, has pushed for months to curb the bill’s costs. He still wants to remove some of its proposals, including a new program requiring paid family and medical leave for workers.

His support is crucial because Democrats will need all their votes for the 50-50 Senate to approve the legislation.

Other issues remain unresolved as well, such as whether the chamber’s parliamentarian will rule that provisions helping migrants stay in the U.S. should be removed because they violate Senate rules.

The House approved its version of the bill last month.

Democratic Congresswoman Now Only Speaks Via AI-Generated Voice After Being Diagnosed With Rare Disease

One reason for Democrats’ urgency is that unless the measure is approved by Dec. 28, the IRS won’t have time to prepare checks due Jan. 15 to millions of families that receive the child tax credit, Democratic Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon explained.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City