Daily Column – 19th December 2021

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Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated he would not vote for Democrats’ $2 trillion social spending programme, known as Build Back Better (BBB). The package, known as Build Back Better (BBB), is expected to be destroyed.

“I am unable to support the continuation of this piece of legislation. I’m just not able to do it. I’ve tried everything humanly imaginable to make this work. “I’m just not able to get there,” Manchin said on Fox News yesterday.
There are 50 Democratic senators, therefore this bill must receive the support of 50 senators in order to be passed. Because there are no Republicans who support it, even one Democratic vote against it means that it is effectively dead in its current form.
Despite the fact that Manchin has been a BBB holdout for months, his comments yesterday was the most conclusive indication yet that he would not support the central pillar of Biden’s economic strategy. It’s a difficult pill to swallow for the president, who had hoped that BBB would be enacted by the end of the year.

The repercussions

Let’s just say that Manchin will not be invited to any Democratic sleepover parties for the foreseeable future. During an uncharacteristically venomous press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ripped Manchin for “breaching his commitments” to his fellow Democratic Party members and described his remarks as “a sudden and inexplicable shift in his position.

Sen. Bernie Sanders contributed to the stalemate by urging that Democrats should proceed with a vote on the package regardless of the outcome. According to Sanders, who spoke to CNN, “If [Manchin] doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working folks of West Virginia and America, let him vote ‘no’ in front of the entire world.”
What were Manchin’s objections about the deal? As for the bill’s climate initiatives, he expressed concern about two things: 1) the bill’s contribution to the national debt and rising inflation, and 2) its ability to move the United States to greener energy sources “more quickly than technology or the markets allow.”

Taking a look ahead…

Dems may attempt to regroup and craft a new proposal that is more focused on a smaller number of initiatives than the wide Build Back Better idea was. However, in the short term, the extinction of BBB has real-world ramifications for millions of Americans: the enhanced child tax credit, which would have been extended by one year under the programme, will expire at the end of this month if the package had passed.

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