tell us how you really feel
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday used some rather ... blunt phrasing when discussing with reporters the current state of affairs as they relate to Build Back Better negotiations, Bloomberg reports.
In reference to President Biden's languishing hallmark legislation, Manchin replied, "What Build Back Better bill?"
"It's dead," he added.
It was the senator's "strongest language to date to underscore that any revival of Democrats' top domestic priorities would have to arise from fresh negotiations," The Associated Press writes.
After failing to secure the bill's passage in December, Biden in January conceded he might have to scale down and break the package up into chunks in order for it to pass. There hasn't been a terrible amount of discussion since.
"Whatever we are going to come up with, anything you want to be put on the table we can talk about," Manchin continued. The lawmaker has long proved problematic to the passage of Biden's agenda, having taken issue specifically with the size and scope of the original Build Back Better package.
Manchin also said he hasn't spoken directly with the White House since negotiations creaked to a halt last year, per Bloomberg.
When asked to further clarify his remarks, Manchin replied, "If we're talking about the whole big package, that's gone," Politico reports. As for a smaller bill ... he said he's open to one, should it actually come together.
Senate Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus on board should there be any hope of pushing a reconciliation bill through.