Sen. Manchin is set to not vote for $3.5tn spending bill.
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on Sunday that he will not be voting for President Biden’s $3.5trillion spending package.
The moderate Democratic Senator, who has represented West Virginia in the Senate since 2010 after serving 5 years as governor of the state, and more recently assumed chairmanship of the Senate Energy Committee urged The White House to “hit the pause button” on the bill earlier in September and is seen as the swing vote in a divided 50-50 Senate Chamber.
Manchin is seen as the swing and his decision will be crucial to determine whether President Joe Biden will be able to pass a key part of the domestic agenda which he campaigned on.
The 75-year-old Senator is known for his support of bipartisanship and has previously worked with Republicans on abortion and gun ownership. He also supported President Trump’s immigration policies and has hit out against policy proposals from the far-left progressive wing of the Democratic Party in the past.
He has, however, received backlash from fellow Democratic Senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is a socialist on the progressive wing of the party. She criticised Manchin for referring to her as “young lady” writing in a tweet, “In Washington, I usually know my questions of power are getting somewhere when the powerful stop referring to me as “Congresswoman” and start referring to me as “young lady” instead”.
Ocasio-Cortez had also previously accused Manchin of having “weekly huddles with Exxon” to which he fired back on CNN’s State of the Union calling her claims “absolutely not true”.
Manchin’s support will be vital if the Biden administration is to press on with it’s domestic agenda, however it looks as though he has made up his mind. It remains to be seen whether the president will be able to survive another heavy defeat, after his humiliation in Afghanistan.