Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) eerily described President Joe Biden's signature legislative plan on Friday as a program of "complete social realignment."
What did Manchin say?
Speaking with a West Virginia radio host, Manchin revealed what he really thinks of the president's "Build Back Better" plan and why he refuses to support it.
"First of all, the Build Back Better, way back when, was a complete social realignment — everything in the world you could throw at it," Manchin said.
"I was very clear when the president and I talked, I said, ‘Mr. President, this piece of legislation is going to change our country from when John Kennedy said ask not what your country can do for you, what you can do for your country, that piece of legislation will change us to how much more can my country do for me,'" he continued.
"We are $30.5 trillion of debt and climbing, and we have to be serious about this. But inflation is wreaking havoc on everybody's lives. I don’t care what social-rung you're on," Manchin admitted. "So that’s why that one [was killed]. There's no such thing as Build Back Better again."
Manchin is defending himself after he was accused of sinking, at least for now, Democrats' latest hope at passing a massive spending package.
The moderate Democrat, however, clarified on Friday that he is not against the policy proposals put forward by his party, especially those that focus on energy and climate. Rather, his concern is not exacerbating the inflation crisis.
In fact, after the consumer price index showed that inflation rose 9.1% year-over-year in June, Manchin promised he would not support any new spending packages for the foreseeable future.
What are Democrats saying?
House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) told reporters last week there is "incredible frustration" within Democratic ranks over Manchin repeatedly blocking Biden's agenda.
"We’re all going to die," Yarmuth said of Manchin tanking Democrats' climate goals, NBC News reported.
"We’ve got one person who’s trying to dictate policy for the entire country and that’s a shame," he added. "Unfortunately, we have one Democrat who thinks he knows better than every other Democrat."
According to the New York Times, staffers who work for Senate Democrats "seethed and sobbed" after Manchin said he would not immediately support the latest spending package.