‘It’s Dead’: Manchin Tells CNN Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Package Is Toast

On Tuesday, CNN reported that when asked about President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin said bluntly, “It’s dead.”

CNN political correspondent Manu Raju tweeted that Manchin, asked about Build Back Better, Biden’s roughly $2 trillion healthcare, education and climate package, replied, “What Build Back Better bill? I don’t know what you guys are talking about.” Raju said he asked Manchin if he had had any talks on the matter since December and Manchin answered, “No, no, no, no. It’s dead.”

Sen. Joe Manchin, asked about Build Back Better, said: “What Build Back Better bill? I don’t know what you guys are talking about.”

I asked him if he’s had any talks on the matter since December. “No, no, no, no. It’s dead.”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) February 1, 2022

In mid-December, Manchin said he would oppose Build Back Better, telling Fox News, “I’ve done everything humanly possible. … “When you have these things coming at you the way they are right now … I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. … This is a no. I have tried everything I know to do.”

He added, “Inflation is real, it’s not going away any time soon. … What we need to do is get our financial house in order, but be able to pay for what we do and do what we pay for.”

The Wall Street Journal reported a few days later, “As a critical vote for Democrats in the 50-50 Senate, Mr. Manchin has repeatedly questioned how the spending could affect rising inflation and debt levels—concerns that he said other Democrats didn’t take seriously enough in the talks.” Manchin stated, “I’ve spoken so many times on television in telling people where I am. I have a problem.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki attacked Manchin after his December statements, saying, “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.”

In mid-January Manchin asserted, “I’m hoping to talk to everybody and start with a clean sheet of paper. We’ll just be starting from scratch whenever we start.”

Last Thursday, Manchin said, “There’s a lot of conversations going on, they’ve been reaching out. We haven’t sat down physically and started any negotiations.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, “Many Democrats are eager to start piecing together legislation after Mr. Manchin’s rejection of the House-passed Build Back Better bill put talks on ice for weeks. In a West Virginia broadcast interview, Mr. Manchin said talks had restarted on the bill, adding that he was primarily focused on a separate effort on bipartisan elections legislation.”

The Journal added, “Some Democrats are moving to preserve endangered elements of the House bill, including lifting the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deductions and the expanded child tax credit. A group of Senate Democrats wrote a letter to Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris last week calling on them to continue an expansion of the child tax credit in the legislation.”

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