Key US Senator delivers blow to Biden’s social spending bill

US Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), pictured at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 15, 2021, said he’s a “no” on President Joe Biden’s key social spending bill

US Senator Joe Manchin dealt what seemed to be a fatal blow Sunday to President Joe Biden’s massive social spending bill, saying he could not support the legislation’s passage through the divided chamber.

The moderate Democrat’s vote is crucial to getting the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill through the Senate, and Biden — along with other senior Democrats — has spent weeks trying to secure his support.

“I’ve tried everything humanly possible, I can’t get there… This is a no.”

“My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face,” Manchin said in a statement posted on Twitter. 

The bill aims to funnel funds toward lowering the cost of child care and prescription drugs, supporting the purchasing power of households and investing in the transition to clean energy. 

Republicans in the divided Senate solidly oppose the legislation, meaning passage depends on every Democrat in the chamber supporting it.  

He maintained a note of optimism, however, saying, “I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition.”

Progressive Senator Bernie Sanders took a harder line responding to Manchin’s “no” on Sunday, saying Democrats would take the bill to a vote despite his intransigence. 

The progressive wing of the Democratic party has been angered at the attention the White House has lavished on the moderate Manchin to win him over to backing the bill.

Originally published as Key US Senator delivers blow to Biden’s social spending bill

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