Joe Manchin Says He Will Not Vote in Support of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act: 'This Is a No' [Video]

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said Sunday he can no longer support President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the $1.75 trillion tax and spending plan that includes Democrats’ key domestic policy initiatives.

via: People

While appearing on Fox News Sunday, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, 74, said he won’t be backing the approximately $1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill, a move that will likely kill the act from now moving forward given that the Democrats’ bare majority requires all 50 of their senators to agree.

“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t,” Manchin said. “I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there … This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do.”

Despite working with Biden, 79, as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other colleagues, Manchin singled out inflation, the national debt, “geopolitical unrest” and the COVID-19 pandemic as factors behind his decision.

While the White House and many other Democrats tout the spending as key to addressing pressing issues like child poverty and climate change, Manchin argued the bill’s cost outweighed the benefits.

“I’ve always said this … If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it,” he said.

Manchin said that Biden knew he had concerns about the bill, which is “focused on expanding the nation’s social safety net, reducing Americans’ childcare and health care costs, and climate change,” per CNN.

Indeed, the Build Back Better legislation has been stalled because of ongoing negotiations to win Manchin’s crucial support.

“He knows I’ve had concerns and the problems I’ve had,” Manchin said this weekend. “The thing we should all be [doing] is directing our attention towards the variant of COVID we have coming back at us in so many different aspects and different ways. It’s affecting our lives again.”

Manchin also warned that rising inflation is another factor that should take focus. “We have inflation that basically could really harm a lot of Americans … So I think that’s where our attention needs to be directed toward immediately,” he claimed.

The White House moved swiftly on Sunday to counter Manchin’s criticisms of the legislation — and all but accused him of having negotiated with other Democrats in bad faith.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki called his latest remarks “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.”

In a lengthy statement, Psaki highlighted various provisions of the bill, including health care reforms.

While the senator did note there were parts of the bill he was in favor of, he could not justify voting for it in the end. “There’s a lot of good, but that bill is a mammoth piece of legislation,” Manchin said.

Following his remarks on Fox News Sunday, Manchin also issued an official statement on why he was walking away from the Build Back Better Act.

Watch Manchin’s interview below.

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