’Twas the days before Christmas with Build Back Better dead;
when gaggles of liberals called for Joe Manchin’s head.
To Twitter they dashed, their invective to flow;
Because one Democrat boldly stood up and said no.
Progressive Democrats slammed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia on Sunday after Manchin all but killed hopes for the collection of progressive sugarplums known as Build Back Better.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin said that his concerns for inflation, the federal debt, and the need to deal with COVID-19 were all factors in his rejection of the proposal.
But the bottom line, apparently, was “no.”
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) December 19, 2021
“Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bulls**t. The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans. This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure,” she wrote.
Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan also said Democrats should have linked the infrastructure package that passed Congress with the trillions progressives demanded for social programs.
“It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Manchin goes on Fox to kill BBB – he’s been promising to do it for months, and some folks didn’t want to believe him. We gave up our leverage the moment BIF passed and he got the fossil fuel subsidies he wanted,” she tweeted, referring to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework.
On Friday, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Manchin was only one piece of the problem.
People want to “but Manchin” everyone to death, but learned helplessness is not a disposition that inspires confidence or support.
The President has tools at his disposal. Leadership has tools at their disposal. If it really is just 1-2 votes, Senate should force a vote on BBB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 17, 2021
But to Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Manchin is a one-man barrier to achieving just about everything progressives want.
“He has continued to move the goalposts, he has never negotiated in good faith. And he is obstructing the President’s agenda. Eighty-five percent of which is still left on the table. And in obstructing the president’s agenda, he is obstructing the people’s agenda,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, according to The Hill.
“We cannot allow one lone senator from West Virginia to obstruct the president’s agenda, to obstruct the people’s agenda,” she said, adding that “all I want for Christmas is a senator that has compassion for the American people and not contempt.”
“This is about Joe Manchin obstructing the president’s agenda, obstructing the people’s agenda, you know, torpedoing our opportunity to advance unprecedented advancements to address the hurt that this pandemic-induced recession has caused and to get this pandemic under control,” Pressley said, according to The Hill.
On Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a rebuke of Manchin on the White House website, saying Manchin’s comments ”are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances.”
Psaki claimed that on Tuesday, “Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities.”
“While that framework was missing key priorities, we believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all. Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground,” she said.
“If his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” she said.