January 26, 2022

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Joe Manchin says he is unable to support President Biden’s Build Back Better plan – NPR

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on Sept. 30, 2021. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill on Sept. 30, 2021.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin doomed President Biden’s roughly $2 trillion social spending and climate legislation known as Build Back Better on Sunday, telling Fox News in an interview that he cannot support it.

“If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for, and I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I just cant get there,” Manchin said.

When pressed whether it’s a firm no, Manchin added: “This is a no on this legislation. I’ve tried everything I know how to do, and the president has worked diligently. He’s been wonderful to work with.”

Manchin has expressed reservations about the cost of the legislation in recent weeks, after previously forcing Democrats to scale back their climate goals in the bill. The president and Democratic leaders conceded a few days ago that they would miss their deadline to vote on the bill in the Senate before the holidays, but Manchin’s comments make it appear impossible for the bill to ever pass.

Democrats have been trying to pass it through special budget legislation rules that would allow them to pass it through the 50-50 Senate without the Republican votes needed to overcome the usual 60-vote threshold on legislation. But they would need every member of the Democratic caucus on board to pass it with 50 votes and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking a tie.

Without Manchin’s support, the legislation would fail.
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