With everything happening in Virginia between Glenn Youngkin and Terry McAuliffe, the battle for Joe Biden’s agenda has taken a backseat within the news, but that could have changed in a huge way today.
Late last week, a vote to force through the bipartisan infrastructure bill was ruined after progressives refused to accept it without more than just a framework on the “Build Back Better” agenda. That was the second time in that Nancy Pelosi was forced to pull the plug at the last moment. Yet, by Saturday, Democrats were showing confidence again. Word was that both laws would get voted on as soon as today.
But then Senator Joe Manchin came into the room like the Kool-Aid man.
And Manchin basically guarantees BIF won't pass anytime soon with this: "I will not support a bill that is this consequential, without thoroughly understanding the impact…"
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) November 1, 2021
The second tweet above should actually read “BBB,” which means “Build Back Better.” What Manchin is doing here is slamming on the brakes on the progressive bill because it has a variety of ridiculous budget tricks where programs are only funded for some years while saying they are “paid for.”
Here is a quote from National Review:
“Manchin reiterated his concerns for the “exploding inflation,” America’s debt, the potential for increasing interest rates, and the creation of brand new social spending programs. “How can I in great conscience vote for a bill that pushes massive expansions of social spending programs when vital programs such as Social Security and Medicare are facing insolvency and their benefits might start being lowered as soon as 2026 for Medicare and 2033 for Social Security?” he asked. “How does this make sense? I don’t think it does.”
“…But then he went further”
“He said, “As more of these real details are released, what I see are shell tricks — budget games that make the true cost of the $1.75 trillion bill said to be around twice that number if the full time is run out. If you keep it permanently. And that nobody has even spoken about.”
Well, that escalated fast.
While Democrats were recently optimistic, this represents a huge gut-punch to their dreams and hopes. If Manchin is not on board with their sleight of hand in the reconciliation bill, he is essentially dooming Joe Biden’s agenda to failure because there is no world where the bill is actually paid for in any responsible way.
Author: Scott Dowdy