President Joe Biden has conceded that his Build Back Better act will not be passed until 2022 despite promises from Democrats to pass the behemoth bill by Christmas.
"We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead," Biden wrote in a press release on Thursday, acknowledging the broken Christmas promise. Senators are eager to leave D.C. on Friday to spend the holidays with family, and the Senate is scheduled to reconvene on Jan. 3, a week before the House.
"Manchin has reiterated his support for Build Back Better funding at the level of the framework plan I announced in September," the president wrote. Support from the West Virginia senator is critical in the 50-50 Senate, and "not a single Republican is willing to move forward on the bill," as Biden stated.
Manchin wants the bill to cost about $1.75 trillion. When the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the act would add $3 trillion to the deficit over 10 years, Manchin called the analysis "very sobering." Liberal outlet Vox wrote an article titled, "Joe Manchin cancels Build Back Better’s Christmas party," saying Manchin "quashed Senate Democrats’ hopes."
The president wrote, "My team and I are having ongoing discussions with Senator Manchin; that work will continue next week."
The White House statement reiterated that Build Back Better is "urgently needed to lower the cost of prescription drugs, health care, child care, and elder care."
Biden concluded with a quick pivot to his support for voting rights legislation, adding "Our democracy is at stake."
Manchin has not only balked at the bill's cost. On Thursday he rejected a provision restricting U.S. oil and gas development.