The White House is fuming after Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced on Fox News Sunday he has no plans to vote for President Joe Biden’s multi-trillion dollar spending plan and will not vote to continue working on the legislation.
BLOW TO JOE: Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he can't vote for a $2 trillion social safety net bill, dealing a potentially fatal blow to President Joe Biden’s signature legislation – @AP pic.twitter.com/FWSeVNOFDu
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 19, 2021
In response, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a seething statement and essentially called Manchin a liar.
“Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.
Weeks ago, Senator Manchin committed to the President, at his home in Wilmington, to support the Build Back Better framework that the President then subsequently announced. Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework “in good faith,” Psaki said.
“On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities. While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all.
Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground,” she continued. “If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Psaki also vowed to keep pushing Manchin to change his mind.
“Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word,” she said.
But the truth is, Manchin has been saying for months Biden’s Build Back Better agenda was too big, would cause inflation to worsen and that he didn’t support the IRS snooping on Americans. Since he took office with a 50-50 split in the Senate, Biden has been governing as if he has a super majority and a mandate. He doesn’t.
Psaki is really hoping nobody has actually paid attention to Manchin’s “public utterances” all year about wanting to pause, inflation, bad climate spending, etc.
This falls SQUARELY on the White House ignoring reality and lying to their base about what was possible. https://t.co/IFWG97eA1t
— Matt Whitlock (@mattdizwhitlock) December 19, 2021