Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he does not support the Improvement Restoration Act, a huge step forward for legislation that requires Democrats to have his vote to get through the Senate.
Manching has always been a key opponent of the legislation, sharing concerns about certain provisions in the economic bill that would expand the country’s social safety net and how this could exacerbate the country’s soaring inflation.
“And I cannot vote to continue this law. I just can not. I have tried everything that is possible. I can’t get it, ”he told Fox News Sunday. “This is a ban on this law. I tried everything I could. And the president worked hard. He was great to work with. He knows that I have had problems and problems, and, you know, the fact that we all have to direct our attention to the option, Covid, which we return to us in many different aspects in different ways, it again affects our lives «.
Manchin’s support for the bill — a $ 1.9 trillion spending plan aimed at expanding the national welfare system, reducing American childcare and health care costs, and climate change — is needed by Democrats to pass the bill through a process called reconciliation. budget. This means that only 51 votes are required to make a decision.
Progressive independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont harshly criticized Manchin for withdrawing his support, saying, «I think he will have a lot of explaining what needs to be done to the people of West Virginia,» and urged Democrats to put the bill to a general vote. pressure Manchin to officially vote against.
“I hope we get a compelling bill in the Senate as soon as we can and allow Mr. Manchin to explain to the people of West Virginia why he lacks the courage to stand up to powerful special interests,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tupper on Sunday “State of the Union” …
“If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, have him vote no,” Sanders added.
A source familiar with Manchin’s plan told CNN that he communicated his decision to the White House and the Democratic leadership before he made his announcement.
A person familiar with the negotiations said it was clear that Manchin was heading in that direction, as Biden privately told his aides this week that he was no longer confident he could end up bringing a West Virginia Democrat on board. But White House officials were surprised when Manchin informed them Sunday morning that he had already made his final decision.
Their reaction was not positive, the source said. One senior administration official told CNN it was «a complete surprise.» Manchin told the White House that they were the first to know about it and that he had not yet informed his staff about it.
Previously, Manchin had repeatedly expressed concerns about a law passed by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last month. He wanted to cut the bill in several areas, including paid family leave, methane emissions charges from energy producers, and extending Medicare to cover hearing costs. He also sought to amend some provisions of the tax part of the bill.
CNN reached out to the White House for comment.
Additional information has been added to this story.
FIX: An earlier version of this story incorrectly states Bernie Sanders’ political affiliation.