Joe Manchin Muddles President Biden’s Signature Policies: Demands Progressive Pick Only One

Joe Manchin
Joe Manchin

Joe Manchin, the moderate Senator from West Virginia sent clear signals that he was willing to go for only $1.5T, the price tag he set on the Democrat’s plan for the social safety net. That puts him at a $2T variance with what the progressives in his party have been demanding.

Even as Joe Manchin gave President Biden the numbers that he preferred, the President has indicated that he would prefer more.

Manchin said that he was willing to go from 0 to $1.5T, adding that he wasn’t a liberal.

Under the Democrat’s plan for the Build Back Better Act, President Biden has envisaged an expansion of the medical facilities to include hearing, dental care, and vision. He has also called for funds for pre-kindergarten for all, community colleges, elder care, leave programs, and combating climate change.

Joe Manchin Said That $5.4t Already Spent; Need To Stop At Some Point

President Biden has planned to fund part of the $3.5T bill through an increase in taxes primarily on the wealthy and the big corporations.

But Joe Manchin has pointed to the $5.4T already spent since the onset of the pandemic. He has said that there has to be a point when both parties must decide on the final amount and stop at that.

But progressives within the party say that $1.5T will never be enough. Senator Mazie Hirono said that Manchin’s proposal was quite sad, while Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said that the amount was not sufficient.

The figures offered by Senator Manchin could further complicate the plan By Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, to vote on the bipartisan infra bill. It remains a top priority for Senator Manchin and the other moderates.  The bill is for upgrading bridges, roads, rail, and other infrastructure.

Pelosi said that at this point she was unwilling to consider any option other than a win. Manchin had earlier indicated that he remained limited to the amount he proposed.

But his position could skew the infra bill as progressives will not back it until the social safety net package is passed through both houses. Senator Sinema has also opposed the $3.5T figure, and said that she would not support the figure.