Sen. Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat from West Virginia, confirmed Sunday during an appearance on Fox News that he “cannot” support President Joe Biden’s massive Build Back Better social spending package — a decision that effectively kills the bill given the 50-50 split in the U.S. Senate — and the news was not accepted well by hard-left Democrats in Congress.
The fact that the radical left faction of the Democratic Party known as “the squad” was the most outspoken over the development speaks volumes about what the legislation actually encompasses, and there was no shortage of Sunday talk show appearances available to them to blast Manchin.
“This is a mammoth piece of legislation. I had my reservations from the beginning when I heard about it five and half months ago, and I’ve been working diligently every day, every minute of every day,” Manchin said, adding that he has “done everything humanly possible” to get there. ”
“The inflation that I was concerned about, it’s not transitory; it’s real, it’s harming every West Virginian,” he told Fox News host Bret Baier. “It’s making it almost difficult for them to continue, to go to their jobs — the cost of gasoline, the cost of groceries, the cost of utility bills, all of these things are hitting in every aspect of their life. And … then you have the debt that we’re carrying, $29 trillion… If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it. And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t.”
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. had plenty to say, launching a long series of tweets denouncing Manchin and insisting they “cannot accept no for an answer.”
“When a handful of us in the House warned this would happen if Dem leaders gave Manchin everything he wanted 1st by moving BIF before BBB instead of passing together, many ridiculed our position. Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve,” AOC tweeted, adding: “Either way, we cannot accept no for an answer. Dem leadership – incl but not limited to the President himself and House Dem leadership – wrote a massive check on their credibility the night of the BIF vote in order to secure the votes they needed, *promising* passage of BBB.”
Either way, we cannot accept no for an answer. Dem leadership – incl but not limited to the President himself and House Dem leadership – wrote a massive check on their credibility the night of the BIF vote in order to secure the votes they needed, *promising* passage of BBB…
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 19, 2021
Putting the pressure on Democratic leadership to “find a way,,” she played both the race card and the class warfare card: “Some of us don’t have the luxury of giving up. We serve working, middle class, & poor people. We serve everyday workers getting ripped off & immigrants & Black communities & queer kids needing shelter. We will not walk away from them. And leadership can’t walk from them either.”
Some of us don’t have the luxury of giving up. We serve working, middle class, & poor people. We serve everyday workers getting ripped off & immigrants & Black communities & queer kids needing shelter. We will not walk away from them. And leadership can’t walk from them either.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 19, 2021
The squad’s patriarch and fellow socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to said the Senate should still “absolutely” hold a vote on the legislation so Manchin can publicly vote against the bill.
“I hoped to have at least 50 Democrats on board who have the guts to stand up for working families and take on the lobbyists and the powerful special interests,” Sanders said . “I hoped to have 50 Democrats. If that is the case then I hope we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests.”
“If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world!” he added.
Bernie Sanders says they should hold a Senate vote so Manchin can explain “why he doesn’t have the guts” to support BBB.
“If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world.” pic.twitter.com/aXzdP4oi8S
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) December 19, 2021
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., an original squad member, accused Manchin of having negotiated in bad faith and claimed he was “obstructing the people’s agenda” — a recent NPR/Marist poll found that only a 41 percent of voters support the legislation.
“He has continued to move the goalposts, he has never negotiated in good faith and he is obstructing the president’s agenda, 85 percent of which is still left on the table,” Pressley said. “And in obstructing the president’s agenda, he is obstructing the people’s agenda.”
The third member of the original quartet, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was the most profane in her reaction to Manchin, as seen here:
“Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bullshit. 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 tweeted.
Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bullshit. 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. https://t.co/dhzcSk0qUV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 19, 2021
In a follow up, Omar essentially declared that Manchin had just killed democracy, as if it were so fragile that one individual could do so:
This is so much bigger than Manchin.
When democracies are no longer able to address their constituents’ needs and demands, authoritarians seize power. I’ve seen it time and time again.
And ours was already on life support.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 19, 2021
Omar repeated her “bullshit” talking point during an appearance on MSNBC, prompting fellow squad member U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., to chime in to say it “shouldn’t surprise anyone that Manchin goes on Fox to kill BBB,” adding: “Hold the vote and make Manchin follow through on the betrayal of his constituents instead of enjoying the attention on TV.”
Our constituents deserve so much more. We were elected to deliver economic relief, we promised to put people’s needs before corporate greed. Hold the vote and make Manchin follow through on the betrayal of his constituents instead of enjoying the attention on TV.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 19, 2021
The two newest members of the squad, to include the only male, were not to be outdone, adding their two cents to besmirch Manchin and pressure party leadership, to include Biden:
Wow @Sen_JoeManchin, with all due respect, when you say you’re a no on Build Back Better – is it you? Or is it the special interest 💰💸 that powers you?
I’m inviting you to my district to see just how badly we need this bill. Will you tell my community “No” to our face?
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) December 19, 2021
Honestly, I’m frustrated with every Democrat who agreed to tie the fate of our most vulnerable communities to the corporatist ego of one Senator. No one should have backed out of our initial strategy that would have kept Build Back Better alive.@POTUS, you need to fix this.
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 19, 2021
The president’s liberal media allies saw the development as not only the end of democracy, but the end of Biden as well:
What’s worse – that Manchin is killing the Biden legislative agenda, and perhaps the future of American democracy too, or that he wasted most of this year dragging this whole thing out to do it *and* wasted half of the time that Dems control Congress and the White House.
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 19, 2021
If Manchin is no on both BBB and voting, Biden is done. Democracy is hanging by a thread. Hard to think of anyone more destructive
— Jennifer ‘pro-voting’ Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 19, 2021
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