Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., announced Sunday that he will vote against Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion “Build Back Better” climate change and social spending bill.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t,” Manchin told Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” Manchin added. “This is a ‘no’ on this legislation.”
The Democrat senator added in a statement that the 2,000-plus-paged bill would “dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face.”
“I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight,” Manchin wrote.
The senator claimed he disliked the climate provisions in the bill, which called for phasing out fossil fuels, particularly coal.
The Clean Energy Performance Program (CEPP) provision of the bill would heavily fine utility companies that used fossil fuels instead of renewable energy sources, like wind or solar. The CEPP would essentially be the nail-in-the-coffin for the West Virginia coal industry, where workers heavily rely on it.
Democrats dropped CEPP after Manchin opposed it in October. However, Biden argued that he would still require states, including West Virginia, to drastically cut emissions over 50 percent by 2030.
Biden’s multi-trillion dollar spending package was split into two parts: infrastructure and social spending. Democrats divided the package, worrying that lumping both pieces together wouldn’t get the bill passed.
The $1.2 trillion infrastructure part passed in the House and Senate several months ago, despite convictions from several far-left Democrats that wanted both provisions lumped together and voted on.
The “Build Back Better” social spending bill was poised go to the Senate floor after House Democrats narrowly passed it last month.
Biden needed Manchin’s vote in the 50-50 Senate, plus a tie-breaking vote from Kamala Harris in order to pass the bill.
However, his decision to vote against Biden’s energy-killing bill essentially killed the multi-trillion dollar legislation.
Manchin immediately faced backlash from the Biden administration and members of the radical left after his announcement.
White House Press Sec. Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday that Manchin’s decision was “sudden,” accusing him of breaching “his commitments to the President and the Senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” if Manchin “doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote ‘no’ in front of the whole world.”
Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, D-N.Y., tweeted that she and others warned House Democrats that the bill wouldn’t pass if infrastructure and social spending weren’t lumped together.
“Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve,” she wrote.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., less eloquently called Manchin’s excuse to vote against the bill “bulls**t.”
“This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure,” she tweeted.
Biden and congressional Democrats negotiated with Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., for months trying to get them on board, but with no avail. Sinema still hasn’t committed to voting one way or another.
The “Build Back Better Act” will face a Senate vote in early 2022 after Democrats failed to get a vote on it before Christmas.