Sen. Manchin’s Opposition to Biden’s Build Back Better ‘Fully Supported’ by West Virginia Businesses

© REUTERS / ELIZABETH FRANTZU.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) talks to reporters as he leaves the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 15, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.12.2021
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said on 19 December he had “tried everything” in his negotiations with the White House and President Joe Biden, but could not bring himself to vote on the Build Back Better bill in its current form amid fears over its impact on consumer prices and the $29 trillion national debt.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is being vocally supported by West Virginia’s business owners and stakeholders for his staunch opposition to President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, reported Fox News. They have also slammed what they see as a misrepresentation of their state’s best interests in the US media over the issue.
As articles and op-eds such as the recent one in The New Yorker denounce the Democratic senator for breaking party ranks and voting "no" on Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, accusing Manchin of "losing the credibility of his connection to the very place at the heart of his identity", businesses in West Virginia beg to differ.
An article in the New Yorker on 20 December had quoted a West Virginia Democratic operative as slamming Manchin for being ostensibly out of touch with the identity of his constituents.
"The senator’s blockade against programs that have helped his constituents escape poverty makes some question ‘who matters to Joe,’" wrote the author.
Steve Roberts, President of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, "fully supports" Sen. Manchin’s position on Build Back Better, and many West Virginians share his opinion.
He believed it was “ludicrous” to regard Manchin’s stance as a "betrayal" of his constituents, as the Democratic senator’s opposition to the bill is evidence he is not only listening to them, but choosing their needs over his party’s demands.
U.S. President Donald Trump greets staff members during a visit to his presidential campaign headquarters on Election Day as White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listensin Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 3, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
Trump: Manchin is 'Saving' Biden 'From Himself' by Opposing Build Back Better
After Joe Manchin announced his opposition to Biden’s keystone $1.75 trillion social and climate spending agenda, Roberts claimed to have received dozens of emails and phone calls from local business owners supporting the Democrat’s move. As the self-described ‘moderate conservative’ Democrat stated he “just can’t” vote for the bill in its current form amid fears over its inflationary impact and the added burden it would place on the $29 trillion national debt, some even suggested Manchin "should run for president", said Roberts.
Steve Roberts acknowledged there had been a few vitriolic emails from people who did not really live in West Virginia, with one individual reportedly disparaging his state as “knuckle-dragging hillbillies”. Roberts, who admitted that Build Back Better has "some things in it that we can all agree on", was cited as saying:
"We have facts on our side and the facts are that Build Back Better would tax our West Virginia energy industry. It would be inflationary."
Roberts added that Build Back Better "would impede our ability to provide child care because it impedes the ability of churches to provide child care. And in West Virginia, there are churches on almost every corner."
Lawmakers have clashing over eligibility requirements tied to the proposed legislation’s child care and pre-K funds.
In its current form, the bill would enable government partnerships only with daycares and preschools that meet a host of nondiscrimination requirements. Accordingly, centres that are seen as imposing faith-based enrolment restrictions would be unable to accept the newly available funds.
Senate Republicans like Utah Sen. Mitt Romney have denounced the Democrats’ multitrillion-dollar social spending plan as undermining parents’ ability to find and pay for childcare in faith-based settings.
‘Cost is Too Great’
Rebecca McPhail, President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association, believed that Senator Manchin was “doing the right thing for West Virginia and the United States" by opposing Biden’s bill as “the cost is too great".
"From supply chain and workforce shortages, to the rising cost of goods and services, West Virginia businesses are struggling. These are the very businesses that rushed to action in response to COVID. Adding on additional taxes to small business to pay for the myriad of programs in the plan would crush their ability to recover and compete in a global economy," said McPhail.
McPhail also riled at the media for inaccurately reporting on the Build Back Better bill.
"These massive bills seem to be designed to confuse the American people – a few issues become the rallying cry in the hopes that everyone will ignore the hidden elements that propel a certain agenda," the President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association was cited as saying.
Prior to Manchin’s announcement that he was unprepared to vote for Biden’s legislation in its current form, Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) held an event with the America First Policy Institute outside the state’s capital to draw attention to the potential detrimental fallout from Build Back Better on her district.
After Manchin’s decision, Rep. Miller was cited by Fox News as saying:
"Joe Manchin heard us loud and clear because it was West Virginians speaking, not liberal activists in New York City and California."
She added:
"We are aware that media outlets have sent people here and will only interview people who they believe are friendly to their point of view. We have done extensive polling across the state and I can tell you that when West Virginians voter find out what is actually in Build Back Better, they are overwhelmingly opposed to it."
‘I Can’t Vote For It’
The West Virginia Democrat reiterated he was against Biden’s $1.7 trillion agenda in an interview on “Fox News Sunday”.
“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. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there... This is a no on this piece of legislation. I have tried everything I know to do,”said Manchin on 19 December.
Manchin’s support is necessary for Democrats to pass Biden’s $1.75 trillion social and climate spending agenda using a process called budget reconciliation, meaning it would only need 51 votes to pass. Build Back Better has already taken over a trillion dollars in cuts in recent months, largely due to internal Democratic Party resistance from Manchin and Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema.
In a statement his office released after the interview, Manchin reiterated he couldn't support the legislation.
"Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation," he said in the statement.
Рождественские декорации Белого дома в Вашингтоне  - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.12.2021
Xmas Gift for Biden? Manchin Reportedly Tells President How Build Back Better Could Be Saved
Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer and other democrats vowed the party would “keep voting on” the legislation “until we get something done,” while Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, promised that the president would “work like hell to get it done”.
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