West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has reportedly pulled his $1.8 trillion counteroffer to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending package, likely the final blow to Democrats’ hopes of passing the legislation.
The moderate Democrat’s decision to withdraw his proposal was first reported Saturday by The Washington Post, citing three anonymous sources with knowledge of the move. It comes just days after he told reporters that there were no negotiations about the bill.
“I’m really not going to talk about Build Back Better anymore because I think I’ve been very clear on that,” Manchin said Tuesday on Capitol Hill, adding that there are “no negotiations going on at this time.”
Manchin’s compromise included drastic changes to the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act that the House of Representatives passed in November. The Congressional Budget Office warned that the bill could add $367 billion to the national debt. Manchin has consistently opposed the legislation over concerns that it would add to the nation’s deficit and lead to a rise in inflation.
The West Virginia Democrat’s proposal included funding for universal pre-K and a billionaire tax. However, it excluded the expanded child tax credit, an item progressives demanded be in the bill.
Manchin’s decision to vote against the bill, even on his own proposal, means the Build Back Better Act is effectively dead because, in the 50-50 majority split in the Senate, every Democrat must vote in favor for it to pass.
The Post noted that a number of senior Democrats said the senator would likely not back his proposal even if the White House looked to pass it in its current form following a breakdown in negotiations.
Last month, Manchin made a bombshell revelation during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” when he said that he “is a no on this legislation.”
Shortly before the interview, Manchin reportedly had an aide inform the White House and congressional leaders of his plans to announce his opposition to the bill.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement following the interview, in which she said Manchin’s comments “represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position.”