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Senator Joe Manchin was fiercely attacked by his fellow Democrats for his derailing the ambitious overhaul of the United States to better conform with the utopian society envisioned by climate change zealots. But he could be the man who resurrects President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda just in time for the midterm elections.
The West Virginia lawmaker has apparently flip-flopped after he torpedoed Biden’s signature package, a $2 trillion bill that was filled with social engineering items and special interest money, pronouncing it “dead” during a conversation with reporters last month.
Sen. Joe Manchin, asked about Build Back Better, said: “What Build Back Better bill? I don’t know what you guys are talking about.”
I asked him if he’s had any talks on the matter since December. “No, no, no, no. It’s dead.”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 1, 2022
Now Manchin is singing a different tune, telling a gathering of climate activists and energy executives that he’s now open to bailing out Biden with a revised version of the BBB plan that will focus on three primary areas: climate change, prescription drug prices and reduction of the deficit.
Axios reported that the Mountain State Democrat delivered remarks at a closed-door dinner that was hosted by the American Clean Power Association which, according to its website, is “the leading federation of renewable energy companies expediting the advancement of clean energy as the dominant power source in America.”
According to Axios, the senator’s comments are “consistent with conversations Manchin has had with Senate colleagues” and that “in those informal talks, he’s outlined a deal that includes roughly $500 billion for climate and $1 trillion in new revenue.”
However, Manchin “isn’t indicating any support for universal preschool or any of the other care-economy proposals that were included in Biden’s initial ‘human infrastructure’ package,” the outlet reported.
Manchin’s spokesperson Sam Runyon said, “Senator Manchin is always willing to engage in discussions about the best way to move our country forward,” according to a Thursday statement to Fox News. “He remains seriously concerned about the financial status of our country and believes fighting inflation by restoring fairness to our tax system and paying down our national debt must be our first priority.”
“He has made clear that we can protect energy independence and respond to climate change at the same time,” Runyon added. “We must maintain energy independence by advancing an all-of-the-above energy policy to continue producing energy cleaner than anywhere else in the world. Additionally, he continues to believe we can and must lower the cost of prescription drugs for working Americans to ensure no family has to choose between life-saving medications and putting food on the table.”
The Washington Post also reported that Manchin could be open to a deal on Build Back Better: “Manchin, who has traveled in the past week with Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, has told staff members and colleagues that the legislation must be voted on before senators leave town in August, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.”
With gas prices at record levels, a renewed push for the package could be foisted off as necessary to bring down energy costs and would provide a shot in the arm for Biden and Democrats prior to the critical midterm elections, but the lack of social spending and other wish list items of the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic party could fail to energize the crucial voting bloc.
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