Washington -

In an American political surprise, Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, announced during a television interview on Fox News, his rejection of President Joe Biden's massive social spending project, known as the "Build Back Better Act", and its value. approaching two trillion dollars, and announced that he could not vote in favor of this legislation in the Senate.

Manchin's vote is essential to pass the bill in the Senate, in which the votes are equal between Democrats and Republicans, and each of them has 50 members, and the Vice President's vote as the speaker of the House will prevail in the event of a tie.

In recent months, Biden has invested in serious attempts to drum up support for the bill he pledged to pass before the Christmas holidays, which will not happen after Manchin's rejection.

This senator's refusal would do a lot of damage to the Democratic Party ahead of the November congressional elections.

Al Jazeera Net explains, in a question and answer, the details of what happened, and the implications for the future of Biden's rule.

A fierce battle in Congress over the social spending project, and its fate appears in the hands of Senator Manchin (Al-Jazeera)

What is the legislation that Senator Manchin rejected?

The "Building Back for Better" law is a comprehensive package of massive spending programs, estimated at $1.75 trillion, to be spent on social programs, environmental improvement initiatives and climate change responses, two of the main pillars of the president's domestic agenda.

Among the most important things covered by the legislation are the financing of government health insurance programs, the expansion of tax exemptions for low-income families, and the provision of free education for the stage that precedes basic education funded by the government.

The legislation passed last month in the House of Representatives on a strictly partisan basis, with House Democrats (222 members) supporting it and Republicans (213 members) opposed.

White House officials have struggled to manage a major confrontation within the Democratic Party between progressives and moderates over all the legislation passed by Congress.

To break the deadlock, Biden promised progressives that if they cleared the way for the infrastructure bill, he would ensure Manchin voted to "build back for better."

One Democratic lawmaker said Biden should never have overreached in lending to progressives, especially supporting big liberal priorities like paid family leave and expanding child tax credits that Manchin has rejected over the past months.


What is the significance of Manchin's rejection of the decision?

This senator's refusal to vote on the legislation is a crushing blow to the president's agenda.

Without Manchin's vote, the legislation would be rejected by 51 votes (50 Republicans + Manchin) to only 49 members' approval, eliminating the legislation.

Manchin's announcement represents the biggest setback yet to Biden's domestic agenda, and its importance is compounded by the president's drop in popularity to nearly 45%, a percentage that worries Democratic Party leaders ahead of the midterm congressional elections next November, during which the Democratic Party is expected to lose its current majority. in the House of Representatives.

And if the Democrats fail to pass the legislation, it will deal a severe blow to them as the legislation has been relied on to fund a range of policies that Democrats describe as essential to their electoral bases.


Why did Democrat Manchin reject such important legislation from a Democratic president?

"I can't vote to continue with this legislation," Manchin said. "I just can't do it. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there."

He cited concerns about high rates of inflation, which reached record rates in recent weeks, due to the rise in government spending.

"Democrats should focus their efforts on containing the spread and spread of the coronavirus and the Omicron mutant," Manchin said.

He said he wanted to see his party return the bill to congressional committees for re-examination and amendment.

He noted that he stood with his Democratic Party and supported the party's budget resolution, which was exceptional, as it allowed Democrats to pass the budget bill without the need for Republican votes, because he wants to reform the corporate and income tax rates in the country so that everyone pays their fair share.

It was no secret that Manchin rejected big liberal priorities like paid family leave, expanded tax breaks for families with children, and clean energy policies because his state, West Virginia, relies so heavily on coal mining.

In a radio interview Monday morning, Manchin blamed the president's aides, not Biden himself, for the collapse of recent talks on the bill.

"They added some things that are absolutely unforgivable," he said.


What is the reaction of the White House and Democrats to Manchin's rejection?

Biden has not yet commented on Manchin's position, while a White House spokeswoman said in a statement, "The senator has reversed his position on the legislation, and we will continue to pressure him to see if he steps back from his position again in order to implement his previous commitments and fulfill his word, and it is very important that we do not give up. We will find a way forward next year."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to Democrats yesterday, "Members of the House should be aware that we will be looking at the Rebuilding for Better Act very early in the new year, so that every member has a chance to calmly review their position, and not just on TV." We will vote on a revised version of the law passed by the House of Representatives, and we will continue to work to vote on it until we accomplish this task."


What was the reaction of the Republicans?

Republican Party leaders welcomed Manchin's position, and considered his position as evidence of the correctness of their position on Biden's radical agenda, and Republicans attacked the position of the White House and the House of Representatives, especially with regard to pledging to pass the legislation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also revealed his openness to Manchin joining the Republican Party after repeated clashes with fellow Democrats.

"I hope he can thwart this law, that's what the country needs," McConnell said before Manchin announced his rejection of the law.

He also said after Manchin announced his rejection of the law, "what the Democratic senator from West Virginia made all Americans say he did the right thing for the country."

US President Biden faces a real challenge because of the position of the representative in his party, Mansion (French)

What next about Biden's internal agenda?

It is not yet clear whether the Democratic Party will try to pass a smaller bill, which includes only parts of the Rebuilding for Better Act.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders know that appeasing Manchin alone won't do the job for them, and if Senate committees make any changes to the bill, the legislation will have to go back to the House for another vote.

That could be problematic if progressive members there feel that too many concessions have been made to Manchin.

Many Democrats see the legislation as an important key to victory, especially among their own constituencies in which they must show they can govern before the mid-term congressional elections in November 2022.

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