WASHINGTON, November 1, 2021 (AFP) – A senator threw a bucket of cold water on Monday in anticipation of a rapid congressional approval of the social spending project, essential to the future of US President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, saying That economic assessment needs time effect.
Democrat Joe Manchin criticized his House of Representatives colleagues for holding a bipartisan infrastructure investment project “hostage” to win their support for a more ambitious $1.75 trillion social plan.
Known as a “build back better”, the potentially transformative package of health, education and environmental and fiscal policies lacks Republican support, so it has to go through a process known as “conciliation” and is called Munchkin or Can’t lose someone else’s vote. In a Senate, the Democrats created a fifty-fifty (50-50) split between the two parties.
“The political game must end […] keep this project [de infraestrutura] Getting my support for the reconciliation bill hostage won’t work,” warned Munchkin, who is 74 and represents the state of West Virginia for journalists in Congress.
His statement threatens to undermine tentative plans to hold a House vote this week on the package, as well as a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package to improve internet connectivity and revive the country’s crumbling transportation network.
Although the infrastructure project has already been approved by the Senate and only requires House ratification, several Democratic Party political groups are still discussing the details of Build Back Better.
The Progressive Wing, which forms the largest ideological group in Congress, has refused to ratify the infrastructure plan until its priority, the welfare package, is voted on at the same time.
Theoretically, lawmakers could still go ahead, but without moderate buying, any package that passes the House will be returned by the Senate with significant changes, delaying the process for weeks.
Manchin said he needed more time to consider the implications of Build Back Better. “In short, I would not support such an important bill without fully understanding the impact it will have on our national debt, our economy, and most importantly, our entire American people,” he said.