Regardless of how many times Sen. Joe Manchin says Build Back Better is dead, President Biden will not abandon it.
Per the official White House calendar, the president will gather Wednesday with utility CEOs to “address the Build Back Better initiative.”
This will trumpet the initiative as the greatest investment in climate change mitigation in US history, a method to cut energy bills and generate union jobs.
During my first year in office, we experienced historic economic growth. But we have more work to do to lower kitchen table costs — like child care and prescription drugs — and get people working. That’s what my Build Back Better Agenda does.
— President Biden (@POTUS) February 9, 2022
Nonetheless, how any of this will transpire is an open question.
With the initial legislation from last year being no longer alive, no firm specifics about what would be included in any future version of the law, or how those plans will meet the administration’s objectives, are available.
Conservatives Condemn Biden’s Perseverance
Jenny Beth Martin, honorary chairwoman of Tea Party Patriots Action, declared that Biden’s Build Back Better agenda is “lifeless,” no matter how much he wishes otherwise.
Manchin on Build Back Better: "That bill no longer will exist … my biggest concern and my biggest opposition: it did not go through the process … it should've gone through the committee." pic.twitter.com/mhTjvxDIra
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 6, 2022
In Dec., Manchin essentially destroyed the Build Back Better Act by publicly opposing it; this month, he said “there are no structured discussions” about the bill. If there were, he noted the tax code would have to be altered first and bipartisan discussions must occur.
Due to the West Virginia centrist’s strident resistance, some media pundits predicted the BBB designation will fade away; some Democrats have even called for a rebranding.
“That outmoded moniker has to be discarded,” Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz said last week. “Joe Manchin made it abundantly obvious he will not vote for Build Back Better. As a result, we need to focus our efforts elsewhere.”
Despite the lack of information and continual denials, Biden and others in the White House, notably press secretary Jen Psaki and first wife Jill Biden, continue to refer to his plan by the title.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ron Wyden has been embarking on a project plan that incorporates some of the provisions of the Build Back Better bill, which he believes Manchin would approve.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer indicated he continues to explore it.
Something Out of His Administration
Biden is now seeking a victory on a lesser scale, according to former Democratic operative Sandy Maisel.
“Biden needs positive things to come out of his presidency, and he hasn’t gotten many yet,” Maisel, a Colby College professor emeritus, said.
“He’s not getting nearly enough credit for the infrastructure bill and his previous work in office. He requires additional resources. I believe he recognizes this, and that is what he’s seeking.”
The White House stated it will get as much of the Build Back Better plan as possible passed by using the 50 Senate votes held by Democrats.
Maisel asserts the moniker has become a Biden trademark. “It appears to me that he receives greater credit if he introduces a law bearing his name,” he explained. “At this moment, Build Back Better is his brand.”