by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
No matter how many times Sen. Joe Manchin kills it, President Joe Biden refuses to give up on Build Back Better.
The president [was scheduled to] meet Wednesday with utility CEOs to “discuss the Build Back Better agenda,” according to the official White House schedule, which touts the plan as the largest investment to combat climate change in U.S. history — a way to lower energy costs and create union jobs.
But how any of that will happen remains to be seen.
With the original legislation from last year dead, no solid details are available about what will be in any future iteration of the bill or how those plans will accomplish the administration’s goals.
Biden’s persistence has drawn the ire of conservatives.
“After Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update had a recurring joke in which, week after week, anchor Chevy Chase pronounced to the audience that ‘Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead,'” said Jenny Beth Martin, honorary chairwoman of Tea Party Patriots Action. “With a nod to SNL, our message to President Biden is that no matter how much you may wish it were still clinging to life, your BBB Act is still dead.”
Manchin effectively killed the Build Back Better Act in December by coming out against it and reiterated earlier this month that “there are no organized conversations going on” regarding the bill. If there were, he said the tax code would have to be changed ahead of anything else and that he wanted bipartisan talks.
The West Virginia centrist’s stiff opposition prompted some in the media to predict that the BBB moniker would fade away, and some Democrats are even calling for a rebranding.