United States

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin blocks Biden’s Build Back Better Act

19:50, 19 December 2021
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin blocks Biden’s Build Back Better Act Photo: Rebecca Hammel/Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia senator refused to approve the $2 trillion spending plan aimed at improving the social safety program, infrastructure, and fighting climate change.

West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, D, announced on Sunday that he would not support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, therefore, blocking the project’s passage through the Senate.

“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. This is a no on this legislation,” the senator told in an interview given to Fox News.

Manchin’s vote was crucial for his party in the Senate, divided by 50 – 50 between the Democrats and the Republicans. Having a reputation as one of the most conservative Democrats in politics, Manchin is a key holdout for the legislation as the bill requires at least 51 votes to be passed in the upper chamber of the US Congress, or 50 plus the Vice President.

CNN sources report that Manchin warned the White House and other Democrats about his decision before making it public. The Biden administration has not commented on the situation yet.

Manchin had earlier expressed concerns about the plan, which was passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in November. He targeted such aspects as paid family leave, methane fee on gas emissions, and tax portions, making the White House cut the package size and abandon such projects as the creation of a clean electricity program or a plan to forbid oil drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts

Last week Biden unveiled that he was applying efforts to reach an agreement with the West Virginia senator and expressed confidence that the plan will be finally approved.

The Senate went on holidays on Saturday after making a series of appointments, including new ambassadors to Japan and France, without making an accord on the $2 trillion plan.

Manchin also was one of the main topics discussed by Vice President Kamala Harris at an interview with Charlamagne Tha God which went viral on the net after the conversation became heated after the question of who the real US president was.