President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion spending package known as the Build Back Better Act is in major jeopardy.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia told Fox News Sunday he can’t support the bill.
Manchin is a necessary vote for Democrats because of their narrow majority and because no Republicans support the bill.
Democrats feel blindsided by Manchin.
While Manchin has always expressed concerns with the price tag of Build Back Back, the White House said they were still working with him to reach a compromise.
“It’s beyond disappointing,” said N.C. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat.
“This is a setback, and I can’t tell you exactly now how we get this done,” said Rep. David Price, Democrat.
On the line is billions of dollars for items like climate change prevention initiatives, free pre-kindergarten, child care, expansion of Medicare, aid for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the child tax credit, which is about to expire.
Democrats are still holding out hope that a scaled back bill can be voted on early next year but how that happens is up in the air.
On Sunday, Gov. Roy Cooper expressed his support for the bill on Twitter saying “everyone in Washington needs to come back to the negotiating table in January.”
“I think there’s still a path to success. It’s a narrower path than we had hoped, but I think we should continue working,” said Democratic N.C. Rep. Manning.
Butterfield said he is open to a scaled-back bill.
“Whatever the Senate sends back to the House for concurrence, I’m prepared to vote for it, because half a loaf is better than no loaf,” Butterfield said.
Some Democrats want Manchin to be forced to actually vote against the bill, rather than just express his disapproval in a interview.
In a letter to his colleagues Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York told them the Senate will consider the bill very early in the new year so every senator can make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.
Schumer went on it say “we are going to vote on a revised version of the House-passed Build Back Better Act — and we will keep voting on it until we get something done.”