In an interview with Bret Baier on Fox Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia broke big news by announcing that he is a No on the Build Back Better bill which has been a centerpiece of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. The bill came about to about $2 trillion and contained an assortment of items including paid sick leave, an extension of the child tax credits, and subsidies for green energy.
Given that the Senate is at 50/50, Manchin's No seals the fate of this bill. There are some murmurs that the Senate may come back with a leaner version of the bill, although the acrimony in the follow-up makes this hard to imagine.
Manchin has been publicly hesitant about the bill given his concerns about the national debt, inflation, and the trajectory of the country's finances. Based on anonymous reports, in discussions with other Senators, he made comments that families would use the child tax credits on drugs and people would take advantage of paid sick leave to go on hunting trips. This highlights the divide between Manchin and Biden and the rest of the Party who see these as necessary.
According to other reports, Manchin had a counterproposal to the BBB bill that came in around $1.8 trillion and didn't include the child tax credits which was rejected by the White House. The close, working and personal relationship seems to be collateral damage as well.
The White House was aware that Manchin was leaning away from supporting the bill, but it was surprising that he made his decision public without first alerting the public. It resulted in sniping between White House aides and Manchin supporters on social media. Manchin has already been dismayed by harsh words from the White House and other Democrats which has also included being targeted by activists for protests at his houseboat which he stays in during his time in DC.
There was a ray of hope as the next day in an interview with a West Virginia radio station, Manchin said that he would be open to something next year "that comes through committee" and would be leaner with more of a focus on revenue generation.