Democratic Senator Joe Manchin nixed the trimmed version of the social spending bill, claiming he will not vote for Biden’s climate action and tax plan.
Now Biden is encouraging Senate Democrats to pass the Build Back Better agenda without climate and tax provisions. Without enough senators on board, Biden is now aiming to take executive action to tackle climate change.
Manchin Will Not Vote for Climate Plans
While traveling to Saudi Arabia, Biden noted that taking immediate action on climate is the need of the hour, adding he would sign executive orders if the Senate does not pass the climate plan.
According to Biden, his executive order will create more jobs while improving energy security, supply chain, and increasing domestic production.
Similarly, Biden added his agenda would help the country in avoiding more oil price hikes in the future.
These remarks of the president came after Manchin’s comments earlier Friday, in which he emphasized he would support the social spending bill only if it is solely focused on bringing drug prices down, instead of increasing climate spending and imposing new taxes.
He further added that sponsoring new spending is “not prudent” right now.
So the entire BBB saga went from a $2 trillion social and climate package to a Rx drug/ACA bill with potentially ~$40B in new spending.
Healthcare was always the lowest-hanging fruit for Dems. Now it’ll test Manchin’s willingness to carry out something he claims he’s for
— Joseph Zeballos-Roig (@josephzeballos) July 15, 2022
Manchin’s latest revolt against social spending was in reaction to the Department of Labor’s report, which suggested that inflation rose to 9.1% in June.
The senator has repeatedly warned he will not back any legislation that will pour more money into the economy at a time when inflation is already breaking previous records.
Though the West Virginia senator did not shut all doors completely. Manchin asked Schumer to wait until the July inflation report, which will further reveal the health of the economy.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 15, 2022
Similarly, Manchin also insisted Democrats should wait to see the next move of the Federal Reserve, which is likely to increase the interest rate soon.
Democrats are reluctant to wait any further for passing the bill, as the July inflation report will be released on August 10.
After that, Democrats will only be left with a month, as they cannot pass such a bill with 50 votes after September 30.
Democrats Cautiously Dealing With Manchin Now
This time, the White House is also careful in dealing with Manchin, who drifted away from Democrats after the controversial press release in December last year.
The White House is avoiding quoting Manchin. Biden emphasized, without naming Manchin, that the Senate should pass the bill immediately.
Similarly, when White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked if Manchin was “on the level” in the negotiations, she refused to name the senator and did not release the details of the negotiations.
Likewise, a reporter asked Biden if Manchin was negotiating in good faith, on which the president asserted that he does not negotiate with the senator.