The White House has released a lengthy statement blasting West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for announcing that he will not be voting for the Build Back Better legislation.
Manchin’s announcement took place during an appearance on Fox News.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Manchin said that “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation, I just can’t. I tried everything humanly possible; I can’t get there.”
“You’re done – this is a no,” Bret Baier said.
“This is a no on this legislation,” Manchin replied. “I have tried everything I know to do.”
“This is a no on this legislation” — On Fox News Sunday, Manchin announces he won’t vote for the Build Back Better bill. Game over. pic.twitter.com/p0rCu4kl7M
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 19, 2021
Democrats had been working to change the senator’s mind and hoped that negotiations would continue throughout the week. Last week, the president even released an optimistic statement about Manchin’s support — which the senator quickly moved to distance himself from.
Manchin cited inflation, the federal debt and omicron as reasons for his refusal to continue discussing the bill.
In a statement that was over 700 words, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki accused Manchin of “a breach of his commitments” for shooting down the social spending package.
“Senator Manchin’s comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances,” Psaki said in the statement.
Psaki went on to say that “if his comments on FOX and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
The White House press secretary added that they will continue to press Manchin and hope that he will “reverse his position yet again” and “be true to his word.”
“Senator Manchin pledged repeatedly to negotiate on finalizing that framework ‘in good faith,’” Psaki said. “On Tuesday of this week, Senator Manchin came to the White House and submitted—to the President, in person, directly—a written outline for a Build Back Better bill that was the same size and scope as the President’s framework, and covered many of the same priorities.”
“We will not relent in the fight to help Americans with their child care, health care, prescription drug costs, and elder care—and to combat climate change. The fight for Build Back Better is too important to give up. We will find a way to move forward next year,” she said.