The White House admitted Tuesday that President Joe Biden made up a story about Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin telling far left Democrats that he misled them about his willingness to support Build Back Better.
Sunday Manchin announced he would not be voting for the bill.
“I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation, I just can’t. I tried everything humanly possible, I can’t get there,” Manchin said during an appearance of “Fox News Sunday.”
The senator cited concerns about the current high rate of inflation and deficit spending for his opposition.
“This is a no on this legislation” — On Fox News Sunday, Manchin announces he won’t vote for the Build Back Better bill. Game over. pic.twitter.com/p0rCu4kl7M
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 19, 2021
Biden was asked by a White House reporter Tuesday if he felt Manchin had “kept is word” to the president regarding where he stood on Build Back Better.
“And how do you rebuild trust with progressives in the party so you can advance your legislation now?” the reporter also queried.
Biden responded, “Some people think maybe I’m not Irish because I don’t hold a grudge.”
“Look, I want to get things done. I still think there’s a possibility of getting Build Back Better done,” he added.
Reporter: “Do you believe Senator Manchin kept his word to you?”
President Biden: “Some people think maybe I’m not Irish because I don’t hold a grudge. Look, I want to get things done. I still think there’s a possibility to get Build Back Better done.” pic.twitter.com/zZ9AOlAZJN
— The Hill (@thehill) December 22, 2021
“What I don’t want to do is get into — and Joe went on TV today and — I don’t know if it was TV or not; I’m told he was speaking to the liberal caucus in the House and said, ‘Joe Biden didn’t mislead you, I misled you,’” Biden said.
Pressed by CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny later in the day, White House spokesman Andrew Bates responded, “The President wanted to clarify that Senator Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading.'”
The White House attempts to clarify President Biden’s puzzling remark that @Sen_JoeManchin “misled” House progressives. “The President wanted to clarify that Senator Manchin did not characterize himself as having been ‘misleading,” WH spox Andrew Bates says.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) December 21, 2021
Manchin has been straight forward publicly throughout the Build Back Better negations.
In September, he wrote an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal entitled, “Why I Won’t Support Spending Another $3.5 Trillion.”
In it, he highlighted the inflationary pressure and deficit spending the legislation would cause.
In response, Democrats brought the price down, but the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget calculated the cost would still be roughly $2.4 trillion over 10 years.
Further, “the bill relies on a number of sunsets and expirations to keep the official cost down. If the plan’s temporary policies were made permanent, we find the cost would increase by as much as $2.5 trillion. As a result, the gross cost of the bill would more than double from $2.4 trillion to $4.9 trillion,” the committee reported.
For example, the child tax credit is funded for only one year, but is paid for over 10.
Manchin pointed to these budget gimmicks as a reason he still could not support the legislation, though on its face the price was less.