Published on December 14, 2021
Most pundits seem to be operating under the assumption that President Biden’s Build Back Better program will eventually become law. After all, it would be very unusual for a Congress controlled by the president’s party to reject his first major domestic proposal.
But given developments in the past week, it might be time to start seriously considering the chance that BBB is DOA.
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) has long been the primary obstacle to BBB’s passage. He represents an energy-producing state, so he has a different view on the bill’s climate provisions than most Democrats. West Virginia also is now staunchly Republican at all levels and voted for former president Donald Trump by 39 points in 2020. To have any hope of reelection, Manchin has to show his constituents that he is fighting hard for them.
Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.