The group of House progressives who took flak for opposing the bipartisan infrastructure legislation earlier due to concerns that moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wouldn’t support the Build Back Better bill have a message for their fellow Democrats:
“This is exactly what we warned would happen if we separated Build Back Better from infrastructure,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted on Sunday after Manchin announced his opposition to the social spending and climate package, dooming half of Biden’s legislative agenda.
Omar was one six House Democrats to vote against infrastructure bill. These lawmakers repeatedly called for the Infrastructure Bill and the Build back Better Act to be combined, so that they could both become law.
The House Democratic leadership delinked both bills. They passed the infrastructure bill, hoping that Biden and Manchin would agree to the passage of the second bill.
Manchin has been expressing concerns for months about the Build Back better legislation, which is based on increasing inflation and debt. He withheld his support of the bill, while continuing negotiations with the White House. He voiced his objection to the $1.75 billion measure during an interview. Fox News.
“I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there,” he told host Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is a no.”
Manchin’s stance left progressives, especially those who voted against the infrastructure bill, fuming.
“When a handful of us in the House warned this would happen if Dem leaders gave Manchin everything he wanted 1st by moving BIF before BBB instead of passing together, many ridiculed our position,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted. “Maybe they’ll believe us next time. Or maybe people will just keep calling us naïve.”
Rep. Cori, another progressive in the House, opposed the infrastructure bill and argued that Democrats have more leverage than moderates such as Manchin.
“And what did the caucus do? We tossed it,” she added in a statement.
It’s not crystal clear, however, if withholding the infrastructure bill from passing sooner in the House would have made Manchin or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) more likely to support the Build Back Better Act. The bill may not have passed. Manchin said that he’d be happy with the outcome.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who voted for the infrastructure bill with the understanding that Manchin would get to “yes” in talks with Biden, also didn’t hold back on Sunday.
“Today, Senator Manchin has betrayed his commitment not only to the President and Democrats in Congress but most importantly, to the American people,” Jayapal said in a statement. “He routinely touts that he is a man of his word, but he can no longer say that. West Virginians, and the country, see clearly who he is.”