Joe Biden’s gigantic social reform plan could have received a fatal blow on Sunday with the announcement by Democratic Senator Joe Manchin that he would not approve this crucial program for the mandate of the American president, judging him too expensive in times of inflation.
Obviously taken aback, the White House immediately criticized this “inexplicable and sudden turnaround”, while asserting that it would continue to try to convince him to vote in favor of the project.
The elected West Virginia chose the Fox News channel, very critical of President Biden, to make his announcement.
“I do not can not go further “, launched Mr. Manchin, who has been for weeks one of the main obstacles to this program of social and ecological reforms which aims to transform America.
” I cannot vote for that, “added Mr. Manchin, citing in particular the rise in prices and the extent of the debt. “I just can’t. I tried everything humanly possible, I can’t,” he repeated. “It’s no”.
Called “Build Back Better”, the plan of 1. 750 billion dollars plans in particular to lower the cost of child care and drugs, tax credits for American homes and significant investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
After a first vote in November in the House of Representatives, where Democrats had overcome their internal differences between centrists, worried about the effect on the debt, and the left wing, which wanted to go further in spending, its passage in the Senate was pushed back. The Senate being divided (50 elected for each camp), any Democrat or affiliate has in fact what is akin to a right of veto on any project of law if the Republicans close ranks.
Statements by Senator Manchin “are at odds with his discussions this week with the president, with the staff of the Maison Blanch e and with her own public statements, “said executive spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a long press release in which frustration was evident.
” If her comments on Fox and his press release indicate the end of these attempts (to reach an agreement, note), then they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal of its position and a violation of its commitments towards the president “, she added. ) On Thursday Mr Biden had conceded that he certainly could not get this bill passed as quickly as he wanted, referring to difficult discussions with Mr Manchin.
– “No guts” –
The senator explained in a press release why he opposed this “colossal” law.
“My fellow Democrats in Washington are determined to fundamentally reshape our society in a way that makes our society even more vulnerable to the threats we face, “he said. “I cannot take this risk, with a pharaminous public debt of 29. 000 billion dollars and inflation which is real and which hurts all Americans “.
Inflation reached 6.8% in November year-on-year, unheard of since June 1982.
Mr. Biden says the plan “will reduce the deficit by more than 100 billion dollars over ten years” and that it will “lower costs, create jobs and rebuild our economy.””
Asked Sunday on CNN on the statements of Mr. Manchin, Senator Bernie Sanders, figure of the left wing of the Democratic Party, accused him of lacking “guts”.
“He will have to explain to the people of West Virginia why he does not have the courage to oppose the pharmaceutical groups to lower the prices of drugs, why he is not ready to extend social coverage, “said Mr. Sanders, calling for a vote in the Senate despite everything” as soon as possible “.
” It’s been months with Mr. Manchin “, he added. “”If he doesn’t have the courage to do what is right for the families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no to the world.”