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Stunned Democrats are sifting through the rubble after hopes that President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” bill would be delivered in time for Christmas were blown to smithereens by moderate Senator Joe Manchin, a man whose courageous stand has earned him the hatred of much of his party.
Manchin joined 50 other senators – all Republicans – who worked in a bipartisan fashion to derail the gargantuan legislative package which was a Trojan horse for the Green New Deal and the radical transformation of the U.S. domestic energy industry, an agenda that would further batter Americans already reeling from skyrocketing inflation and other adverse effects from Biden’s policies.
On Sunday, the West Virginia senator dropped a lump of coal in Biden’s stocking when he went on national television to announce that he would not vote for the bill, “I can’t get there,” Manchin told Bret Baier on Fox News Sunday, an announcement that infuriated the White House and sent Democrats into spasms of rage that they expressed on Twitter.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation.” — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) says President Biden’s Build Back Better plan “is a no.”
“I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.” pic.twitter.com/HsgXgYms3e
— The Recount (@therecount) December 19, 2021
Responses to Manchin sinking Biden’s prized agenda item ranged from Rep. Ilhan Omar who called it “complete bullsh*t” in one of the more articulate expressions from “The Squad” which melted down spectacularly, to a scathing statement put out by White House press secretary Jen Psaki who accused him of stabbing Biden in the back and stopped just short of openly calling him a liar.
Manchin was undeterred, calling out White House staffers who “drove some things and put some things out that were absolutely inexcusable” during a West Virginia radio interview, he also mocked those who used bullying tactics against him.
MANCHIN: "They figured surely to God we can move 1 person, surely we can badger & beat 1 person up. Surely we get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough they'll just say 'okay, I'll vote for anything and just quit.' Well, guess what? I'm from West Virginia." pic.twitter.com/GX6RTxaP1n
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) December 20, 2021
“I knew where they were and I knew what they could and could not do, they just never realized it because they figured surely to God we can move one person,” Manchin said. “Surely we can badger and beat one person up, surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough they’ll just say, okay, I’ll vote for anything, I’ll just quit.’
“I’m from West Virginia,” he added, “I’m not from where they’re from, and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.”
Once tempers subsided and The Squad was ostensibly muzzled, cooler heads sought to salvage the BBB package, speaking in optimistic terms that the package could be resurrected in some form in the coming months.
“There’s a lot in that bill that I hope we can still get through,” said Senator Patrick Leahy. “There’s a great deal there that I support, that I imagine the majority of Americans support,” the Vermont Democrat was quoted by The Hill.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi also refused to give up the ghost on BBB.
“There are conversations that are ongoing, but we cannot walk away from this commitment,” she said on Monday.
According to The Hill: “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is floating a package that would tie together prescription drugs, clean energy, the beefed-up child tax credit and ObamaCare tax credits. Such a bill, according to Wyden, could be permanently paid over a 10-year period through the same revenue sources that his committee has already pieced together for the more sweeping legislation.”
“Democrats have made key promises to families who need more support. Failure is not an option here,” he said.
Progressive firebrand Rep. Pramila Jayapal is pushing the White House to implement the most radical provisions by circumventing legislation.
“Jayapal said Democrats were working with the White House on alternative means of reaching the bill’s goals through executive or administrative actions, without legislation,” the Associated Press reported.
“We cannot make the same mistakes twice,” she said on a conference call with other progressives. “We cannot hang the futures of millions of Americans on the words of one man.”
Whether raw feelings can be healed and enough enticements to get Manchin on board with a watered-down form of the bill remains to be seen but he holds all the cards and if the pressure gets too intense, he can always switch parties, a possibility that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell left open.
At least for now, Build Back Better is dead but the left is relentless and isn’t about to give up.
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