Joe Manchin pulls his social spending compromise off the table

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Joe Manchin pulls his social spending compromise off the table

Sen. Joe Manchin has yanked his proposal for a $1.8 trillion compromise on President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan off the table, according to reports — potentially the final nail in the coffin of the Democratic Party’s signature social-spending agenda.

The West Virginia Democrat’s about-face was reported Saturday by the Washington Post, citing three unnamed sources with knowledge of the matter.

The report came days after Manchin told the media that he was no longer discussing Biden’s long-sought bill with the White House.

“I’m really not going to talk about Build Back Better anymore because I think I’ve been very clear on that,” Manchin said Tuesday during a Capitol Hill press gaggle. “There is no negotiations going on at this time, OK?”

Manchin’s compromise package made extensive changes to the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act that passed the House of Representatives with no Republican support in November — a budget-buster that, the Congressional Budget Office warned, could add $367 billion to the nation’s deficit.

The senator’s proposal included funding for universal pre-K, an Obamacare expansion, and a tax on billionaires — but left out the expanded child tax credit, a must-have for the party’s progressive wing.

With the Senate divided 50-50, lockstep Democratic unanimity is required for the budget bill to become law.

But insiders say he would be a “no” vote even on his own compromise, as a result of the White House’s blistering response when Manchin put the kibosh on the bill in a Dec. 19 Fox News appearance.

Joe Manchin
Reports that the compromise was off came just days after Manchin said he would no longer be discussing Biden’s plan.
REUTERS

Instead, the moderate Democrat was said to have been been meeting with Republicans — including Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who sought to rescue the child tax credit measure, and President Donald Trump’s former economic adviser, Larry Kudlow.

Neither Romney nor Kudlow confirmed the report — but Kudlow this week hinted that he and Manchin had been in contact.

“Joe Manchin [has] been heroic,” Kudlow wrote in the New York Sun on Wednesday. “I fully expect him in the next couple days to tell us all that he intends to save America and kill the bill.”

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