President Biden has been unable to get Sen. Joe Manchin on board for Build Back Better. Manchin’s colleague Raphael Warnock framed his support for the filibuster as “misplace priorities.”
Biden’s and Democratic leadership’s hopes of a last-minute push to pass their legislative agenda before the end of the year went up in smoke when talks between Sen. Joe Manchin and party leaders broke down.
- Manchin has been a hold-out on Biden’s Build Back Better social spending bill, with the recent point of contention being over the extension of an expanded child tax credit set to expire at the end of the year.
- The West Virginia senator swore at a reporter who pressed him on the issue, saying he doesn’t negotiate with the press.
- Effectively admitting defeat on Build Back Better, Senate Democrats shifted their efforts to passing an election reform bill before the end of the year.
- Hopes on election reform legislation quickly faded when Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s office said she would not support a change to the Senate’s filibuster rules to pass the bill.
- MSNBC highlighted a “stirring speech” from freshman Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock who blasted Manchin and Sinema for defending the filibuster, with the reporter calling them “hypocrites” for supporting a temporary rule change to increase the debt limit.*
- The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent took Manchin to task for his alleged shifting reasoning in opposing the expanded child tax credit, saying Manchin’s excuses to add up unless he’s secretly trying to kill the bill.
- The New Republic urged President Biden to take a tougher stance and push Manchin and the Senate harder on passage of Build Back Better, saying “the well-being of families and the midterm elections” depend on it.
- The Washington Times focused on Democrat infighting, highlighting some potshots fellow Democrat senators took at Manchin.
- Newsmax’s original reporting highlighted how far apart Biden and Manchin are on negotiations, quoting Manchin as saying “I don’t think I am asking anyone to move [their position], I want people to understand where I am.”
- The New York Post’s John Podhoretz cast the Build Back Better delay as yet another example of Biden’s very bad year and that the President’s floundering of both his agenda and standing in the polls reminded Podhoretz of the doldrums of Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
*What Ja’han Jones of MSNBC fails to (or perhaps willfully misrepresent to his readers) understand is that the temporary rule change to hike the debt ceiling still required 60 votes in the Senate. Ten Republicans voted for the one-time rule change on a debt ceiling raise that everyone said was a “must”, even if the same Republicans didn’t want to support the limit hike itself. In order to push through any of the controversial legislative items, Republican support is required in some form. Yet even that likely won’t be enough, as Manchin and Sinema are not backing down from their positions.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021