Joe Manchin gives new r​eason for why he torpedoed BBB

Joe Manchin gives new r​eason for why he torpedoed BBB
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) // CBS News

As progressive activists continue to push for the stalled social and climate spending package, Sen. Joe Manchin claimed Sunday that his biggest opposition to his party's Build Back Better legislation was that it didn't go through committee.

Manchin's (D-W.Va.) remark came in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union" in which he endorsed Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and brushed off the idea that he wouldn't get the backing of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) if he faced a primary challenge.

Murkowski, who joined Manchin for the interview, also endorsed the right-wing West Virginia Democrat in his Senate reelection bid.

As CNN's Manu Raju noted, the objection to BBB Manchin cited is despite the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which he and Murkowski helped craft, having bypassed committee in the Senate and going straight to the floor.

"The Build Back Better Better as has been presented," said Manchin, "that bill will no longer exist."

"My biggest concern and my biggest opposition—it did not go through the process," he said. "It should have gone through the committee."

"These are major changes. It's going to change society as we know it," said Manchin. "There should be a hearing, there should be a markup, then you're going to have a better product."

Manchin has previously called the House-passed BBB "dead."

Just after his December announcement on Fox News that he wouldn't support the legislation, a billionaire GOP megadonor and his wife each gave the maximum possible $5,000 to Manchin's political action committee, as CNBC first reported.

Directing their ire on both Schumer and Manchin over the Senate's failure to pass BBB, as well as key voting rights protections, activists with the Poor People's Campaign last week told the senators that "it is time to publicly answer: which side are you on?"

"It is time to go back, overcome the regressive filibuster, and pass the full $3 trillion Build Back Better Agenda (not reduced down to $1.7 trillion or what is being compromised now)," the group wrote.

In a message specifically directed to Manchin, they added: "We are suffering because the Senate could find trillions in less than two years for corporations, but can't protect voting rights and invest a few trillion over 10 years in the people."

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