Democrats Lash Out At Manchin

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They aren’t forgiving him.

After failing for much of December to pass the Build Back Better bill, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has drawn the ire of those in his caucus once again, with his latest scaled-down version of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

In Manchin’s version. big social spending initiatives 一 such as expanded child care 一 have been removed, so has universal kindergarten, long-term home health care, and national paid family leave.

Instead, Manchin has proposed his colleagues select and focus on one 10-year program. He also suggested one-half of revenues collected through tax and prescription drug reforms go to reducing the deficit and combating inflation.

The West Virginia Senator suggested limiting new spending to climate programs rather than the array of social spending programs currently in the plan since he contended these programs would likely get baked into the federal budget baseline for coming years.

Manchin underscored his proposal by saying the country had to “get its fiscal house in order” before taking up any new plans, arguing that the U.S. can’t continue to fuel the deficit while inflation is at a 40-year high.

But his colleagues aren’t eager about his stance, as they’re reluctant to let go of their big, ambitious spending plans that they’ve discussed for over a year, plans that include direct federal support for expanded access to child care.

When asked about Manchin’s bare-bones proposal, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) responded, “If he wants to focus on an economic package, then he needs to remember child care is an economic issue.”

She continued, adding, “We have many, many, many parents at home today because they cannot get child care. We have people who can’t work in the child care industry because they don’t make a living wage. If we want to have an economy that’s firing on all cylinders, we want people to be able to go back to work.”

Warren also referenced a link between child care and inflation, saying, “Let me point out, that affects inflation. When you don’t have enough workers, then prices go up.”