Manchin Won’t Vote For Reconciliation Bill Costing More Than $1.5 Trillion
On Thursday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) announced that he wouldn’t support any budget reconciliation bill costing more than $1.5 trillion, a far smaller than a $3.5 trillion goal most Democrats are hoping for.
“We’re going to come to an agreement. I’m trying to make sure they understand I’m at $1.5 trillion,” Manchin told reporters on Thursday.
In July, Manchin reportedly had distributed his proposal for the infrastructure plan to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York). Manchin said in the document that he would support the bill only up to $1.5 trillion while suggesting setting the corporate tax rate to 25%.
“Leader Schumer never agreed to any of the conditions Sen. Manchin laid out; he merely acknowledged where Sen. Manchin was on the subject at the time,” said Schumer’s spokesperson. “Sen. Manchin did not rule out voting for a reconciliation bill that exceeded the ideas he outlined, and Leader Schumer made clear that he would work to convince Sen. Manchin to support a final reconciliation bill — as he has doing been for weeks.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) had already delayed the House infrastructure vote amid the disagreements between the centrists and the progressives in the Democratic party. The vote, however, was also delayed until Friday.
House progressives are furious over the efforts of centrist Democrats to block the $3.5 trillion bill. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York), one of the leading progressives in the party, offered strong criticism of Manchin.
“Ever notice how ‘deficit hawks’ vote for record-high defense spending, yet claim bills that help people & challenge lobbyists are ‘too much?’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, citing The Hill’s link featuring Manchin.
Ever notice how “deficit hawks” vote for record-high defense spending, yet claim bills that help people & challenge lobbyists are “too much?”
‘22 Defense Bill = $768 billion/yr
Build Back Better = $350B/yr
Guess which got rubber stamped & which gets deemed a “spending problem” https://t.co/NVW6rv1fQs
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 30, 2021
Despite all the blowback that Manchin is receiving from his party, especially from the progressives, Democrats need his vote. In a 50-50 Senate, the Democrats can’t lose a single vote from their side if they want to pass a bill through budget reconciliation.