This is a no.Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on a social spending bill the White House and other Democrats want to pass through Congress before the end of the year.
- Sen. Manchin said, “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”
- Sen. Manchin is a critical vote. The Senate is divided equally between Democrats and Republicans. In order for a bill to pass, Democrats need every vote from state legislators; then the vice president (VP Harris, a Democrat) would serve as the tie-breaker.
- Sen. Manchin has consistently said the price tag attached to this social spending bill is too high. He also said he didn’t approve of the environmental programs in the bill; West Virginia remains a large coal energy-producing state. We copy and pasted his explanation for not supporting this part of the bill so you can read it in full below.
- Here are some of the more popular social programs that were included in the bill; a question remains whether some of these programs will receive a straight up-and-down vote as single legislative items if this larger bill does not come up for a vote.
Why It Matters: This large social spending bill is a signature legislation from the White House. Without Sen. Manchin’s vote, it will not pass.
Here’s the interview where Sen. Manchin says he is a no on the bill – the White House says they were surprised by this announcement and will continue conversation.
BAIER: All right. A couple things first. There’s a lot of criticism that says that you’re doing this about environment and climate change. Your critics, your biggest critics say West Virginia has had a reliance on coal industry and that you personally profit from investments in the family coal brokerage that you founded.
BAIER: What’s your response to that?
MANCHIN: No, I’ve heard all of those things and I understand where they’re coming from and basically they’re trying to get an agenda they wish to have.
The main thing that we need is dependability and reliability. If not, you’ll have what happened in Texas and what happens in California. No one’s talking about defense of our country either. We just had a committee hearing on do we have the energy that we need to defend our country in a time when we have a conflict or a war — all these things, and the reliability and affordability.
I have put as chairman of the natural — Energy and Natural Resources Committee in last two years working in a bipartisan bill, billions of dollars in clean energy technology. We’re doing everything humanly possible, we’ve doing more that’s ever been done in the past, and we’re continuing to do that.
But you can’t let technology be behind basically the needs of — if technology is not there, we got to make sure that we’re able still to rely on United States of America. We have been energy basically independent for the first time in many, many years, 67 years or more.
And we should not have to depend on other parts of the world to give us the energy or be able to hold us hostage for the energy or the foreign supply chains that we need for the products we use every day. That’s all I’m trying to do.
by Jenna Lee,