Biden’s sweeping reform plan hanging over Democratic senator’s voice

Joe Biden, weakened by the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, relies on the success of a gigantic plan of social reforms to bounce back, but his hopes are suspended on the voice of the moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin, who repeated his opposition on Sunday, lambasting a rushed procedure.

After the solemn commemorations of the 20e anniversary of the attacks of September 11, domestic politics resumed its rights this week in Congress with the arbitrations expected Wednesday of the various parliamentary committees on the great social project which must mark the Biden presidency.

Baptized Build Back Better (“Build back better”), it provides for 3,500 billion dollars in investments over ten years to “transform” American society: free kindergartens, better access to health, investments in public housing, regularizations of immigrants and the fight against climate change.

Given the Republican opposition, Democrats will have to pass it with their own votes this fall. They control Congress, but their majority is slim in the Senate, with 50 out of 100 elected, and a single Democratic vote can bring down Joe Biden’s grand project.

Joe Manchin, supporter with his centrist colleague Kyrsten Sinema of an envelope closer to 1000 or 1500 billion dollars, therefore has an extraordinary means of pressure to obtain concessions.

The senator from West Virginia, one of the poorest states in the country and acquired Donald Trump, toured Sunday political television broadcasts to hammer home his message.

“I will not be able to support 3500 billion”, he repeated.

“We do not need to rush and complete it in a week,” he said on NBC, responding to the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, who said he wanted to move forward “without slowing down” to adopt the text.

” Take time “

Joe Manchin notably cited an inflation “still very strong and galloping” which increased “the price of gasoline and shopping” for the inhabitants of his State, a pandemic not yet contained, the amount of the American debt, the uncertainty about future international crises, not to mention unspent funds from a previous Biden administration economic emergency aid package.

“We approved $ 5.4 trillion for a year and a half, and a lot of that money is yet to be spent, no one will be left behind this year and for much of next year,” he added on ABC. .

“I do not understand why we can not take the time, deliberate and work”, defended the senator, assuring that he will not be “the only one” to vote against the text if it is not amended .

His opposition angered the most left-wing Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who accused him of being close to big oil groups and supporters of fossil fuels.

To bend Joe Manchin, several elected Democrats threatened to block another major project supposed to mark the mandate of Mr. Biden, which provides for massive investments to modernize infrastructure, currently under discussion in the House of Representatives.

The text has already been adopted in the Senate thanks to the votes of 19 elected Republicans after intense negotiations led by Kyrsten Sinema.

“If they play a political game with America’s needs, I can tell you America is going to back down,” Joe Manchin replied on CNN.

The progressive independent senator Bernie Sanders on the contrary affirmed Sunday that he supported this strategy of blocking, lashing in return the pressure “not at all acceptable” put by Joe Manchin.

The two bills have been intrinsically linked since the start of discussions in Congress and “it would be terrible for the Americans if the two bills failed,” he said on CNN.

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