WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin says he can’t vote for President Biden’s $2T bill, a potentially fatal blow to top Democratic priority.
Manchin told “Fox News Sunday” that he always has made clear he had reservations about the legislation and that now, after five-and-half months of discussions and negotiations, “I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation.”
The West Virginia senator cited a multitude of factors weighing on the economy and the potential harm he saw from pushing through the “mammoth” bill, such as persistent inflation, a growing debt and the latest threat from the omicron variant.
“When you have these things coming at you the way they are right now, I’ve always said this … if I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it,” he said.
“I tried everything humanly possible. I can’t do it,” he said. “This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do.”
The White House fired back on Sunday afternoon saying Manchin’s comments “on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President” and others.
Last week, the Democratic senator voiced his concern on Twitter over defaulting on the U.S. debt during the COVID-19 pandemic and historically high levels of inflation.
Manchin says he’s committed to making sure the country is not spending beyond it’s means.
Still, President Joe Biden is optimistic about the bill reaching the floor as soon as possible.