NBC’s Sahil Kapur joins Shep Smith to report on Sen. Joe Manchin’s refusal to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s vow to bring the bill to a vote in early January. For access to live and exclusive video from CNBC subscribe to CNBC PRO: https://cnb.cx/2NGeIvi
The Senate will vote on President Joe Biden’s sweeping social safety net and climate policy bill in January despite Sen. Joe Manchin’s opposition to it.
“Senators should be aware that the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Democrats on Monday.
“We are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act – and we will keep voting on it until we get something done,” he said.
Manchin dealt a crushing blow to the bill — at least in its current form — when he announced his opposition to it on Sunday. The senator alone can sink the legislation as Democrats try to pass it with a simple majority vote in the 50-50 Senate.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t,” Manchin told “Fox News Sunday.” “I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”
The senator, who represents a coal-producing state and has a personal stake in the industry, cited concerns about inflation and the national debt in explaining his opposition. He also said Democrats should focus their efforts on containing the coronavirus pandemic as the highly-mutated omicron variant spreads around the country.
Manchin privately told Democratic senators in recent months that he was worried low-income parents would use child tax credit money to buy drugs, NBC News reported, citing three sources familiar with the comments. HuffPost, which first reported Manchin’s comments, wrote that several senators saw his remarks as “an unfair assault on his own constituents and those struggling to raise children in poverty.”
In a statement responding to the report, Manchin spokesperson Sam Runyon said, “Senator Manchin has made clear he supports the child tax credit and believes the money should be targeted to those who need it most. He has also expressed support for a paid leave program that has a dedicated, sustainable funding mechanism.”
While the bill will likely fail when Schumer brings it to a vote, the Democratic leader wants to put every senator’s position on the record. The Senate has left Washington for the year, so a vote would not come until January.
Manchin’s announcement marks the biggest setback yet for the Build Back Better Act, Biden’s top domestic priority. After a months long tug-of-war within the party about what the bill should include and what it should cost, the plan’s progress has ground to a halt.
In response to the bill’s likely failure, Goldman Sachs cut its U.S. GDP growth forecast on Monday.
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