West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin dropped a Christmas bomb on Democrats, announcing on Fox News he will not vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, a massive spending and green energy bill the party has been struggling to pass for months.
“This is a no,” Manchin told Fox News on Sunday.
Manchin's announcement essentially sinks any chances of passing the bill, which has been a central component of President Biden's economic agenda.
Manchin said the measure, with a price tag of $1.75 trillion, costs too much and is far above the maximum $1.5 trillion he had set as an upper limit months ago.
Manchin cited skyrocketing inflation, measured at 6.8% in November, and the nation’s staggering $27 trillion debt. He also believes the measure will cost far more than the legislation calculates because Democrats used budgeting gimmicks to make it seem less expensive, such as shortening the time frame of programs that are likely to last much longer.
“That’s not being genuine as far as my constituents in West Virginia,” Manchin said.
Democrats hold 50 seats in the Senate and need every party lawmaker to approve the bill in order to pass the measure with a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.