Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) on Thursday made it clear that he opposes the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget bill, which advances many of President Joe Biden‘s ambitious priorities. The senator wrote in the Wall Street Journal opinion section that his party should hit “a strategic pause” on the legislation, rejecting the idea of “artificial political deadlines” to advance it.

“I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs,” Manchin wrote. “Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation.”

Thursday’s opinion piece received major backlash from his fellow Democrats.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (D-New York), an outspoken critic of Manchin, slammed the senator following his op-ed, claiming that his “bipartisan” effort is “killing people.”


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“Fossil fuel corps & dark money is destroying our democracy, country, & planet. All day our community has been pulling bodies out of homes from the flood. Entire families. And we’re supposed to entertain lobbyist talking points about why we should abandon people & do nothing? No,” she tweeted.

In August, the House voted to advance the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill while simultaneously passing a $3.5 trillion budget plan. The plan will need a simple majority from the Senate to pass.

“Passing this rule paves the way for the Building Back Better plan, which will forge legislative progress unseen in 50 years, that will stand for generations alongside the New Deal and the Great Society,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) said last month. “Any delay in passing the rule threatens the Build Back Better plan, as well as voting rights reform, as well as the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We cannot surrender our leverage.”

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