Over the weekend, Senator Joe Manchin said that he was a “no” vote on President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better bill.
For the millions of Americans concerned about rising inflation, an ever-growing national debt, and their taxpayer dollars flowing to fund abortions, this is very welcome news.
The Build Back Better bill would have exacerbated the federal government’s debt binge, and harmed families in the process. The bill would have:
- Allowed taxpayer dollars to directly fund abortions.
- Mandated healthcare plans cover abortions.
- Provided “nearly $1.3 billion to help further indoctrinate and brainwash public school students with leftist propaganda, including critical race theory and dangerous gender equity policies.”
- Spent $555 billion to fight climate change.
- Provided free childcare for children under the age of six.
- Offered free universal preschool.
- Granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.
- Mandated companies provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Speaking with Bret Baier on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin said, “If I can’t go home and explain to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it. And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can’t. I’ve tried everything humanly possible. I can’t get there.”
“You’re done? This is a no?” Baier followed up.
“This is a no on this piece of legislation. I have tried everything I know to do,” Manchin affirmed.
The senator’s declaration, combined with the unanimous rejection of the bill from all 50 Republican senators, means Build Back Better is as good as dead.
Senate Democrats have been attempting to use a process called “reconciliation” to pass the Build Back Better bill (HR 5376) after the House of Representatives passed it in November by a 220-213 vote.
Once per year, the Senate can use “reconciliation” to pass a bill related to the budget with only 51 votes, instead of the 60 votes that are usually required.
In a letter to his colleagues on December 20, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer noted that the Senate will still vote on the legislation.
“Senators should be aware that the Senate will, in fact, consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor,” Schumer wrote.
However, unless a senator changes their mind, the bill is destined to fail.
Originally, some had called for the Build Back Better bill to spend $5 trillion of taxpayer dollars, before it was revised lower to cost $3.5 trillion.
In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in September, Sen. Manchin wrote that he could not support the bill and spend another $3.5 trillion.
“I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs,” the senator wrote.
After his pronouncement, the bill was again revised down to its current form with a price tag of $1.75 trillion.
Congress has already spent an unprecedented sum of money within the last two years, ostensibly to combat the negative effects of government-imposed lockdowns and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, Congress passed that $2.2 trillion CARES Act – the largest emergency spending bill ever enacted. Congress then spent another $900 billion in December 2020 on coronavirus relief.
Next, Congress spent another $1.9 trillion in March 2021 on the American Rescue Plan, followed by $1 trillion more on the infrastructure bill that Congress passed in November 2021.
All told, prior to any consideration of the Build Back Better Act, Congress spent $6 trillion on coronavirus relief or infrastructure. And that’s on top of all the regular spending that Congress approves.
It’s no wonder that our total national debt has shot up from $23 trillion in the first quarter of 2020, to over $29 trillion today.
Recently, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly warned that the Build Back Better bill would have been an “unprecedented grasp of government overreach” that would threaten to “undermine the institution of the family on a number of levels.”
“At the core of the debate over H.R. 5376 is government’s role in our lives,” Daly added. “The authors of this legislation believe government is in the best position to solve our problems and improve our quality of life. In reality, government almost always makes things worse – borrowing and spending money it doesn’t have to try and fix issues it helped create in the first place.”
The conservative political journal National Review was founded by William F. Buckley in 1955. In an early article explaining the purpose of the journal, Buckley wrote: “It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
Thankfully, because 51 senators were willing to yell “Stop” to spending another $1.75 trillion, American families can wave goodbye to the Build Back Better bill.
Photo from Reuters.