Republicans were quick to fall all over themselves to hail Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) as a hero who saved Christmas for publicly opposing President Biden’s social spending package. The centrist Democrat said that he “is a no” and will not support Biden’s Build Back Better social spending plan.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t,” Manchin told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Sunday, prompting gushing praise from the right-wing.
“The Build Back Broke bill never seeing the light of day is a Christmas miracle,” tweeted Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.).
“It was clear from the start Americans did not support Democrats’ inflationary tax-and-spending spree,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) posted.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), also cheered Manchin, writing in a tweet that Manchin’s opposition was “proving separating partisan BBB [and the] bipartisan infrastructure into [two] bills was right thing.” Progressives would argue, however, that passing the infrastructure bill before Build Back Better was a death knell for Biden’s social spending package.
“Thank you, Senator Manchin,” chimed in Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas). “By officially opposing BBB, you might’ve just saved the American way of life.”
Build Back Better sought to take on child poverty, increasing carbon emissions, skyrocketing prescription drug and health care prices, and other issues that have been making life harder for millions of Americans.
While the GOP has tried to characterize Biden’s legislative agenda as unpopular with the American people, a Data for Progress poll earlier this month found that a majority of voters were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about many of the problems the bill would try to alleviate. Some 82 percent of voters said they were concerned about prescription and health care costs, while 68 percent were worried about our consumption of fossil fuels and lack of preparedness for the consequences of climate change. Another 75 percent said that housing costs, such as rent and mortgage payments, concerned them. Among all likely voters, they found, Build Back Better was “strongly” or “somewhat” supported by likely voters with a 23-point margin. In Manchin’s home state of West Virginia, Data for Progress found an even larger 43-point margin of likely voters who support the bill.