Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has already been a leading voice in the Senate to cut President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better budget reconciliation bill in half, but now sources say inflation woes might keep Manchin from giving his vote on the bill until next year.
The report comes from Axios, which had sources saying Manchin prefers to use the final days in session through December to work on more pressing issues.
Manchin tweeted Wednesday morning:
“By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse,” Manchin said. “From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and D.C. can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”
Congressional progressives, including the six that voted against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that passed on the House on the strength of 13 Republican votes, had feared that centrist Democrats Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona would keep the Senate from the 50 votes needed to invoke Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaker.
There are 48 Democrats in the Senate, including Manchin and Sinema, and two independents that caucus and vote with Democrats, Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Angus King, I-Maine. Republicans have been unified in voting against the budget reconciliation spending bill because of its size and scope of social programs.
The Senate is operating under a continuing resolution on the budget from the Trump administration, which will expire in December and risk a costly government shutdown if a new spending bill is not passed.
Also, the debt ceiling would have to be raised, a move Manchin has not been on board with.