Democratic senator from Virginia, Joe Manchin announced that he is withdrawing his support for the social spending budget requested by the president of the United States , Joe Biden , to combat climate change and improve the conditions of workers in the country.
The lawmaker said Sunday that he cannot endorse his party’s $ 2 billion social and environmental bill. It appears to have dealt a fatal blow to the US president’s main national initiative. This after a year of electoral processes in which the control of the Democrats in Congress is in jeopardy.
Manchin told Fox News Sunday that he has always made it clear that he had reservations about the bill and that now, after five and a half months of discussions and negotiations, he “cannot vote to continue with this legislation.”
He said the bill would die unless it was reformed under new terms. In an unusually confrontational response to a senator whose vote is crucial, press secretary of the White House , Jen Psaki described the statement Manchin as “a sudden and inexplicable change in its position” and “a breach of its commitments” to Biden and Democrats in the Congress .
“We will continue to pressure him to see if he will reverse his position once again, to honor his previous commitments and to be true to his word,” said the White House spokeswoman .
The apparent collapse of the legislation is sure to deepen the bitter ideological divisions within the Democratic Party . That would cast doubt on whether Democrats will be able to rally behind any substantial legislation before the November congressional elections .
The bill involves huge investments to help millions of families with children, including extending a child tax credit that will put more money into it.
The project also includes the creation of a free preschool and the reinforcement of aid for childcare. Plus, assistance to help people pay for health care costs , new hearing benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, and provisions limiting price increases for prescription drugs .
Also included are funds for elderly care, housing, job training, and more than $ 500 billion for tax breaks and spending aimed at curbing climate change . Almost everything would be paid for with higher taxes for the rich and large corporations.