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Capitol Hill is currently in turmoil over how quickly Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., fell into a defensive stance over the secret tax and spent the climate deal he announced with the leader. of Senate Majority Chuck Schumer last week, providing a lifeline to the Biden administration. “Building Back Better” program almost dead.
Manchin has come under heavy criticism, including from his constituents in West Virginia, over his decision to back a scaled-down version of the massive Democratic-backed spending bill, officially called the Cut Inflation Act, after announcing that he would not support the original “Build Back A Better Bill” pushed by the Biden administration.
Fox News Digital spoke with several Senate aides who detailed Manchin’s anxiety about the backlash. Each of the aides asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals and because of the sensitive nature of the negotiations surrounding the overhauled legislation.
“He’s clearly on the defensive in his TV interviews, and he’s getting castigated pretty hard in West Virginia,” a Senate committee staffer said, referring to Manchin’s multiple media appearances in which he was heavily criticized. pressed for his shifting support.
THE MANCHIN, SCHUMER ‘INFLATION REDUCTION ACT’ IS A FRAUD
Another Senate aide pointed to what they described as beads of sweat rolling down Manchin’s forehead during his appearances while pressed on the bill. “The interviews speak for themselves,” said the assistant.
Another reason for Manchin’s heartburn is that his private dinners with Schumer intended to reach an agreement on the bill did not include any outreach to other Democrats to ensure unity behind the deal.
Enigmatic Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Arizona, who also opposed parts of the original “Build Back Better” bill, made clear her desire for changes to the new bill. On Thursday night, Sinema signaled his support for Manchin’s proposal after the deferred interest tax break, which benefits hedge funds and other investment managers, among others, was removed from the bill.
Before Sinema signed the bill, a senior Senate office official told Fox News Digital, “We hear that Sinema’s legislative director is going on vacation to Italy and that trip hasn’t been canceled. .”
Manchin and Sinema were seen talking privately on the Senate floor on Tuesday for about 15 minutes, but didn’t tell reporters until after the meeting that the two were having “a nice conversation.”
MANCHIN VOTES CLOSELY ALIGN WITH SCHUMER, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WARREN, SANDERS DESPITE PRESENTING AS MODERATE
Self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., also made known his displeasure with the scaled-down bill following his previous criticisms of Sinema and Manchin over their opposition to the original bill. A Senate aide commented, “Sanders is trying to make the bill as unappealing as possible to progressives.”
Manchin’s Republican colleagues in the Senate are also expressing outrage at what they see as a betrayal of his reversal, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who described the Manchin-Schumer bill as “a draft terrible law” which will increase the cost of energy.
An exasperated Senate aide accused Manchin of “telling lies” during his television appearances.
Manchin’s own communications office made panicky demands of reporters earlier this week to avoid calling the Inflation Reduction Act a slimmed-down version of “Build Back Better” in its writing, implying that it was to avoid a potential Manchin collapse.
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The bill needs a simple majority vote to pass, which would require the support of every Democratic senator if every Republican opposes it.
Fox News Digital reached out to Manchin and Sinema’s office for comment, but did not receive a response.