WASHINGTON (Fwrd Axis) — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and his staff on Thursday informed Democratic leadership he will not support the climate and tax provisions in the Biden agenda bill.
Manchin, a swing vote in the 50-50 Senate, said he is willing to back an economic bill that includes drug pricing and a two-year funding extension under the Affordable Care Act.
The move likely kills any hopes of the Democrats climate change policies and new taxes. It significantly delivers a major blow to some of President Joe Biden‘s top priorities and economic agenda.
“Political headlines are of no value to the millions of Americans struggling to afford groceries and gas as inflation soars to 9.1%,” Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said in a statement. “Senator Manchin believes it’s time for leaders to put political agendas aside, reevaluate and adjust to the economic realities the country faces to avoid taking steps that add fuel to the inflation fire.”
The negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have been frustrating for Democrats, who are currently facing a challenging midterm election this fall as they are projected to lose the House and have a close chance of losing the Senate.
Manchin’s decision to not support the package the way it currently now leaves the Democrats stuck on their next move. They could either scrap the package entirely or pass the provisions Manchin supports, which congressional Democrats also support.
“We know what we can pass is basically the drug pricing — on Medicare. We know that one. Is there any more we can do? I don’t know. But I’m very, very cautious,” Manchin told reporters this week.
This is not the first time Manchin has voted against a bill that Biden and the Democrats wanted. He previously came out against the legislation back in December, leaving his party with a vote needed to force a tie.