We knew he’d do it: Joe Manchin finally actually says no to Build Back Better

Infrastructure


The way I look at it, Joe Biden should be grateful that Joe Manchin didn’t trash Build Back Better the moment he got his bipartisan infrastructure framework.[1] Because anybody who thinks he wasn’t going to do this[2] all along just hasn’t been paying attention.[3]

For the record, even economists consulted by the Wall Street Journal say the inflation impacts Manchin attributes to the bill are exaggerated.[4] I still want to know why the Democrats haven’t leaned on Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema the way they must have on Congressional ‘progressives.’

Michael C. Bender, Andrew Duehren, and Lindsay Wise, “Sen. Joe Manchin Says He Won’t Vote for ‘Build Back Better’ Bill in Blow to President Biden,” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-says-he-won-t-vote-for-build-back-better-bill-11639924048

Tony Romm, “Manchin says he ‘cannot vote’ for Democrats’ $2 trillion spending package, drawing sharp White House rebuke,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/12/19/manchin-build-back-better-biden/

Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, “From charm offensive to scorched earth: How Biden’s fragile alliance with Manchin unraveled,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manchin-biden-alliance-rift/2021/12/19/674b6e02-60e3-11ec-a7e8-3a8455b71fad_story.html

Amara Omeokwe, “Manchin Rejected Biden Bill Over Inflation, Debt Concerns. How Founded Are Those Worries?” Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-rejected-biden-bill-over-inflation-debt-concerns-how-founded-are-those-worries-11639958265

Elana Schor, “Magical thinking vs. Manchin,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2021/12/20/magical-thinking-vs-manchin-495524


Democrats

This is just the beginning of a Politico newsletter:

Progressives were frustrated with President JOE BIDEN even before Sen. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.V.) knifed the Build Back Better act on live television Sunday.

Voting rights legislation appears to be going nowhere. Student loan collection is expected to re-start early next year. Some of the Trump administration’s border policies remain in effect. And the $6 trillion social spending and climate action bill Democrats had once envisioned had already been whittled down to less than $2 trillion over a decade, leaving many progressive priorities on the cutting room table.

Now, with the sting of this latest BBB setback still fresh, progressive lawmakers and activists are openly venting about the White House — and some are even entertaining the idea of a primary challenge to Biden in 2024, if he stands by his plans to run for re-election.

Asked if she thought there’d be such a challenge, former state senator NINA TURNER, a close ally of Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (I-Vt.), told West Wing Playbook: “Without a doubt.”

“I think the movement is going to cry out for that,” she said. “We played nice in 2020, we played nice in 2021, and what did we get for it?” Asked if she would consider challenging Biden, Turner declined to comment.[5]

It’s worth reading the whole thing, but a crucial bit is that Joe Biden had promised Congressional ‘progressives’ he would deliver the votes for Build Back Better in exchange for their support of the bipartisan infrastructure framework. Now it’s clear he hasn’t delivered.[6] So Biden has egg on his face, undoubtedly contributing to Jen Psaki’s scathing takedown of Joe Manchin,[7] but really, so do the ‘progressives’ who got suckered.[8]

Indeed, in another Politico newsletter, Elana Schor goes so far as to accuse Manchin’s “more liberal colleagues,” obviously including those ‘progressives,’ of “magical thinking.”[9] She has a point.

Alex Thompson, Tina Sfondeles, and Max Tani, “Rage of the left-wing machine,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2021/12/20/rage-of-the-left-wing-machine-495528


  1. [1]Robert P. Baird, “Inside the Democrats’ Battle to Build Back Better,” New Yorker, November 8, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/inside-the-democrats-battle-to-build-back-better; Andrew Restuccia and Eliza Collins, “Biden Signs $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law,” Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-infrastructure-bill-signing-11636997814; Tony Romm, Marianna Sotomayor, and Mike DeBonis, “Congress approves $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending measure to Biden for enactment,” Washington Post, November 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/11/05/house-infrastructure-reconciliation-vote/; Marianna Sotomayor, Paul Kane, and Josh Dawsey, “Tensions rise among Republicans over infrastructure bill and whether any agreement with Biden should be tolerated,” Washington Post, November 9, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-infrastructure-biden/2021/11/09/cc0c4c9e-4167-11ec-9ea7-3eb2406a2e24_story.html
  2. [2]Michael C. Bender, Andrew Duehren, and Lindsay Wise, “Sen. Joe Manchin Says He Won’t Vote for ‘Build Back Better’ Bill in Blow to President Biden,” Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-says-he-won-t-vote-for-build-back-better-bill-11639924048; Amara Omeokwe, “Manchin Rejected Biden Bill Over Inflation, Debt Concerns. How Founded Are Those Worries?” Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-rejected-biden-bill-over-inflation-debt-concerns-how-founded-are-those-worries-11639958265; Tony Romm, “Manchin says he ‘cannot vote’ for Democrats’ $2 trillion spending package, drawing sharp White House rebuke,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/12/19/manchin-build-back-better-biden/; Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, “From charm offensive to scorched earth: How Biden’s fragile alliance with Manchin unraveled,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manchin-biden-alliance-rift/2021/12/19/674b6e02-60e3-11ec-a7e8-3a8455b71fad_story.html
  3. [3]Elana Schor, “Magical thinking vs. Manchin,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2021/12/20/magical-thinking-vs-manchin-495524
  4. [4]Amara Omeokwe, “Manchin Rejected Biden Bill Over Inflation, Debt Concerns. How Founded Are Those Worries?” Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/manchin-rejected-biden-bill-over-inflation-debt-concerns-how-founded-are-those-worries-11639958265
  5. [5]Alex Thompson, Tina Sfondeles, and Max Tani, “Rage of the left-wing machine,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2021/12/20/rage-of-the-left-wing-machine-495528
  6. [6]Robert P. Baird, “Inside the Democrats’ Battle to Build Back Better,” New Yorker, November 8, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/inside-the-democrats-battle-to-build-back-better; Andrew Restuccia and Eliza Collins, “Biden Signs $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law,” Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-infrastructure-bill-signing-11636997814; Tony Romm, Marianna Sotomayor, and Mike DeBonis, “Congress approves $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, sending measure to Biden for enactment,” Washington Post, November 6, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/11/05/house-infrastructure-reconciliation-vote/; Marianna Sotomayor, Paul Kane, and Josh Dawsey, “Tensions rise among Republicans over infrastructure bill and whether any agreement with Biden should be tolerated,” Washington Post, November 9, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/republicans-infrastructure-biden/2021/11/09/cc0c4c9e-4167-11ec-9ea7-3eb2406a2e24_story.html
  7. [7]Tony Romm, “Manchin says he ‘cannot vote’ for Democrats’ $2 trillion spending package, drawing sharp White House rebuke,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/12/19/manchin-build-back-better-biden/; Sean Sullivan and Seung Min Kim, “From charm offensive to scorched earth: How Biden’s fragile alliance with Manchin unraveled,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/manchin-biden-alliance-rift/2021/12/19/674b6e02-60e3-11ec-a7e8-3a8455b71fad_story.html; Alex Thompson, Tina Sfondeles, and Max Tani, “Rage of the left-wing machine,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/west-wing-playbook/2021/12/20/rage-of-the-left-wing-machine-495528
  8. [8]David Benfell, “When politics are more important than the country,” Not Housebroken, November 10, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/10/when-politics-are-more-important-than-the-country/
  9. [9]Elana Schor, “Magical thinking vs. Manchin,” Politico, December 20, 2021, https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-nightly/2021/12/20/magical-thinking-vs-manchin-495524

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.