US Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat, said it was important to approve President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion (about R$10 trillion) domestic investment package, on Sunday (19) that would not support the project.
“I can’t vote to continue with this legislation,” Manchin said during an interview with Fox News on Sunday. “I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible.”
The White House has yet to comment.
Joe Manchin, Democratic Senator, December 16, 2021 – Photo: Elisabeth Frantz/Reuters
Manchin has been a major hurdle in the White House’s “Build Better” plan, which aims to bolster the social safety net and combat climate change, a cornerstone of Biden’s legislative agenda.
The support of the West Virginia senator is crucial in the Senate where Democrats have the smallest space and Republicans unite in opposition to the bill.
Biden said last week, after his talks with Mnuchin, that the senator “reiterated his support for ‘build better’ across the broad outlines he announced in September.” The Democratic president promised to work in the coming weeks to finalize a deal.
While negotiations with Manchin are going poorly, Biden’s advisers have shown confidence in recent days that an agreement will be reached.
Many Democrats view passage of the bill as essential to the party’s chances of retaining control of Congress in next year’s elections.
The package will raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations to drive a series of programs aimed at preventing climate change, increasing health subsidies and providing free daycare.
Biden has argued that cutting these costs is critical at a time of rising inflation and as the economy recovers from the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Republicans say the proposed package will fuel inflation and hurt the economy.
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