Manchin Deals "Crushing Blow" to Biden Admin. Domestic Agenda

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On Thursday, July 14, Senator Charles Manchin (D-WV) and his staff informed Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that the former is only willing to support a reconciliation bill in August if it includes a provision to lower prescription drug prices and a two-year extension of Affordable Care Act subsidies.

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This news comes via a Democrat who was briefed on the conversations, according to a Fox News report.

Fox's article went on to expound:

Manchin was explicit that he won't support a bill before the midterms with any provisions on energy and climate or closing tax loopholes exploited by the wealthy and biggest corporations, despite his support for those specific things during months of negotiations.

Democrats had hoped to pass a sweeping package to tout during the midterms.

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With midterm elections occurring on Tuesday, November 8, the New York Times referred to Manchin's latest move as a "crushing blow to President Biden's domestic agenda," noting:

The decision by Mr. Manchin, a conservative-leaning Democrat whose opposition has effectively stalled Mr. Biden’s economic package in the evenly divided Senate, dealt a devastating blow to his party’s efforts to enact a broad social safety net, climate and tax package.

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Previously, Manchin had indicated he would consider both climate language and tax increases on higher earners in a bill approximately half the size of the $2 trillion social and environmental bill the West Virginia moderate singlehandedly killed in December 2021.

Sam Runyon, a spokeswoman from Manchin's office, did indicate that the Senator "has not walked away from the table."

The Times noted that since "Democrats hold the Senate by a bare 50-50 majority, Mr. Manchin has been able to effectively exercise veto power over the domestic policy package."

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At this time, it is presumed that a deal will not be reached, angering climate activists, in particular. The Times shared one anecdote:

Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental policy at the University of California Santa Barbara who has advised congressional Democrats on climate legislation, sobbed on Thursday night as she described the months of work she and other activists, scientists and legislative staff had poured into negotiations.

“The stakes are so high,” she said. “It’s just infuriating that he is condemning our own children.”

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