Democrats expressed outrage Sunday after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced that he would not support President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" plan.
Manchin revealed on "Fox News Sunday" that he would not only not support the Build Back Better Act, but he would not continue negotiations on the bill moving forward, essentially killing the bill for good.
What did the White House say?
White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a lengthy statement Sunday — more than 700 words in total — alleging Manchin just days ago was pledging to compromise. However, the writing has been on the wall for months that Manchin would not support the bill despite his efforts to work with Biden.
Still, Psaki said the White House will continue to pressure Manchin to force him into compliance with Biden's agenda.
"Just as Senator Manchin reversed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to press him to see if he will reverse his position yet again, to honor his prior commitments and be true to his word," she said.
The statement also disputed much of Manchin's criticism, and continued to parrot the Biden administration's trite fiscal narrative about the Build Back Better Act.
"Senator Manchin cited deficit concerns in his statement. But the plan is fully paid for, is the most fiscally responsible major bill that Congress has considered in years, and reduces the deficit in the long run," the statement claimed.
What did others say?
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reacted to Manchin's decision on CNN's "State of the Union," where he accused Manchin of not having "guts." It should be noted, however, that Manchin has stuck to his position, and did not waiver under pressure from Democrats.
"I hope that we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to powerful special interests," Sanders said.
If Joe Manchin does not have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests, he's going to have to explain that to the people of West Virginia who are hurting and hurting badly.pic.twitter.com/U5OeNlk6ea— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1639930765
Sam Stein, an editor at Politico, complained that Manchin's decision is "devastating for the planet."
"A lot to process on the Manchin news but, from a substantive standpoint, it's just objectively devastating for the planet. The last best chance at climate change legislation is gone," Stein reacted.
A lot to process on the Manchin news but, from a substantive standpoint, it's just objectively devastating for the planet. The last best chance at climate change legislation is gone— Sam Stein (@Sam Stein) 1639924586
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) used expletives to denounce Manchin's decision.
"Let’s be clear: Manchin’s excuse is bulls***," she said . "The people of West Virginia would directly benefit from childcare, pre-Medicare expansion, and long term care, just like Minnesotans."
Liberal political commentator Ben Rhodes, who worked in the Obama administration, also complained how Manchin's decision derails Biden's climate change agenda.
"If Manchin is serious, America may have just lost its last chance to make big investments in the fight against climate change," Rhodes said .
Mehdi Hasan, a host at MSNBC, suggested Manchin's decision is a victory for "dark money." Manchin's opponents love to accuse him of being beholden to special interest groups, but rarely offer evidence to support their claims.
"Don’t forget: this isn’t just about Joe Manchin. It’s about the dark money and billionaires and coal interests behind him, which keep winning at ours and the planet’s expense. Manchin is a living breathing reminder that America is often more oligarchic than it is democratic," Hasan said.
Don\u2019t forget: this isn\u2019t just about Joe Manchin. It\u2019s about the dark money and billionaires and coal interests behind him, which keep winning at ours and the planet\u2019s expense. Manchin is a living breathing reminder that America is often more oligarchic than it is democratic.— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1639926257
Filmmaker and actor Rob Reiner complained that Manchin may even "deny U.S." democracy."
"I don’t remember marking my presidential ballot for Joe Manchin. He’s single handedly denying Americans Evironmental (sic) Protection, Pre-K, Child Care, Affordable Prescription Drugs. If he kills Voting Rights, he will deny US Democracy," Reiner said .
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) indicated she was not surprised by Manchin's decision, but said , "Our entire democracy is on the line. So we need to get back in there & get this sh*t done. Period."