Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has apparently heard the voice of the people.
Manchin, who had previously stated that he would not use reconciliation for infrastructure, caved and suddenly supported spending $1.75 trillion via reconciliation.
Well, he just flipped again, hitting Biden and Democrats with a last-minute crushing blow just as House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) was ready to pull the trigger on the bills in the House.
Monday afternoon, Manchin dropped the bombshell on Democrats.
He stated, “As more of the real details outlined in the basic framework are released, what I see are shell games, budget gimmicks that make the real cost of the so-called $1.75 trillion bill estimated to be almost twice that amount, if the full time is run out, if you extended it permanently.
“And that we haven’t even spoken about. This is a recipe for economic crisis.”
Then came the death blow, stating, “I will not support the reconciliation legislation without knowing how the bill would impact our debt and our economy and our country.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) did not take the news well, stating, “The infrastructure bill runs up a $250 billion deficit over a 10-year period. It’s not paid for.
“The legislation that I want to see passed, which includes lowering the cost of prescription drugs, expanding Medicare, including paid family and medical leave, is paid for in — in its entirety. It will not have an impact on inflation.”
That, of course, is a complete lie.
Numerous economists have studied the bigger plan, including left-leaning organizations, and all agree the package falls, at least, almost a half-trillion short of paying for itself (and that is if all things stay equal, which they will not).
The White House also responded, stating, “Senator Manchin says he is prepared to support a Build Back Better plan that combats inflation, is fiscally responsible, and will create jobs.
“The plan the House is finalizing meets those tests—it is fully paid for, will reduce the deficit, and brings down costs for health care, childcare, elder care, and housing.
“Experts agree: Seventeen Nobel Prize-winning economists have said it will reduce inflation. As a result, we remain confident that the plan will gain Senator Manchin’s support.”
They may have 17 economists in their pocket, but there are significantly more saying the complete opposite.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) also threw some darts at Manchin, immediately interjecting race into the equation, stating, “Joe Manchin’s opposition to the Build Back Better Act is anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman, and anti-immigrant.”
Pelosi had initially hoped to put the bills on the floor on Tuesday, but now that is all up in the air, although she is hopeful to still get the bills on the floor before the end of the week.
The House is not scheduled to be in session next week, so the clock is ticking for Pelosi.
Joe wanted these bills on his desk when he returned from overseas, but that now appears as though it will not happen.
We will continue to monitor the story and update as necessary.