United States Senate photography studio
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has taken his offer off the table. The $1.8 trillion dollar spending blueprint represented a counteroffer to the much larger Build Back Better proposal backed by President Joe Biden. It included enormous investments in climate initiatives, an expansion of the Affordable Care Act, and a universal pre-k program similar to one that was bumpily implemented in Manchin’s home state. Even these concessions were not enough for Democrats, as three individuals with knowledge of the situation told the Washington Post that negotiations have completely broken down.
According to Insider:
On Tuesday, Manchin said that he had not yet spoken with the White House about the social-spending bill this year.
“I’m really not going to talk about Build Back Better because I think I’ve been very clear on that,” Manchin told reporters at the time. “There is no negotiation going on at this time.”
In private, the senator has stated that he does not intend to back legislation modeled after the Build Back Better Act and wants the party to overhaul their approach to the bill.
Several senior Democrats expressed that Manchin would likely not back his earlier proposal even if the Biden White House sought to pass it in its original form — a result of the breakdown in talks last month — according to the newspaper.
In recent weeks, Manchin has spoken with a range of figures hoping to influence him on the spending bill, including senior White House aide Steve Ricchetti, former Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow, and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, among other individuals, according to The Post.
White House allies — including some officials in the actual building — are trying to figure out how Biden will approach his dealings with Manchin, especially given the possibility that the party will lose one or more chambers of the Congress this fall.
The latest setback for Democrats comes just weeks after Manchin made a surprise appearance on “Fox News Sunday” where he publicly declared opposition to Biden’s signature legislation, refused a call from White House staff, and sent an aide to inform congressional leadership of his refusal to vote for the bill.