Manchin Gave White House 20 Minutes' Notice: Sources

As progressives slam the senator for 'betrayal'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 3:00 AM CST
Progressives Are Slamming Joe Manchin
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., leaves his office moments after speaking with President Joe Biden about his long-stalled domestic agenda, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Manchin is a pivotal Democratic vote on passage of the president's top legislative priority.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Sen. Joe Manchin won't vote for President Biden's Build Back Better legislation, and the White House has already let him have it. Now, progressives in the House of Representatives are bashing the West Virginia moderate too, NBC News reports. "Today, Senator Manchin has betrayed his commitment not only to the President and Democrats in Congress but most importantly, to the American people," Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a statement Sunday. "He routinely touts that he is a man of his word, but he can no longer say that." Additional reaction and more of the latest developments on the issue:

  • AOC's response: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a number of tweets on the Manchin situation. "When a handful of us in the House warned this would happen if Dem leaders gave Manchin everything he wanted 1st by moving BIF [Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework] before BBB instead of passing together, many ridiculed our position," reads one. "Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve." Vox explains more on the fears of the so-called "Squad," and how they ended up coming to fruition, here.
  • More from the Squad: Ilhan Omar tweeted that Manchin's "excuse" for voting no is "bulls---," and later added, "This is so much bigger than Manchin. When democracies are no longer able to address their constituents’ needs and demands, authoritarians seize power. I’ve seen it time and time again. And ours was already on life support." And from Ayanna Pressley: "We can't let one lone senator from West Virginia obstruct the people's agenda."
  • Vote anyway: They and others are calling for the Senate to vote on the BBB regardless, so Manchin's no is on the record. After adjourning early Saturday, senators return to work Jan. 3. But the AP says the Senate forcing a vote appears "unlikely."
  • "Death blow": The AP says Manchin has "delivered all but a death blow" to the $2 trillion social services and climate change package, as well as cast doubt on the ability of the 50-50 Senate to pass other key Democratic initiatives like voting rights legislation. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who did not mention Manchin in her statement, remained optimistic that a deal could be reached early next year.
  • What exactly happened: AP sources say talks between Biden and Manchin soured when Manchin suggested the child tax credit be cut from the legislation. It's not clear exactly what happened, but sources say Manchin's team only gave the White House 20 minutes' notice before the senator went on Fox News to announce he'd be voting no.
  • Fact-checking Manchin: One of the concerns Manchin raised is that switching to clean energy sources too quickly could have "catastrophic consequences." NPR debunks that claim, and more, here.
  • This is a big problem for Biden: The Hill notes Biden needs Manchin's vote to accomplish anything in the Senate; the outlet says the president's "unending dilemma" is "dealing with Joe Manchin." Considering Manchin's state leans red, voting against Biden last year, some Democrats have been reluctant to push too hard against Manchin in the past. But the Hill notes that could be changing now.
(Read more Build Back Better Act stories.)

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