In President Biden’s State of the Union Address he hinted at the Build Back Better Plan — despite the plan’s death in the Senate last year.
While not directly saying anything about the act, Biden continued to make references to rebuilding the economy and his plans to fight inflation.
“When we invest in our workers, when we build the economy from the bottom up and the middle out together, we can do something we haven’t done in a long time: build a better America,” Biden said, according to the White House transcript of the address.
“Seventeen Nobel laureates in economics say my plan will ease long-term inflationary pressures. Top business leaders and most Americans support my plan,” he added.
But Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the individual largely responsible for stopping the Build Back Better Plan last year when he decided not to support it in the Senate, did not seem convinced by Biden’s comments or hints at a new plan.
Manchin was present at the address and commented on Biden’s address and references to the elements of the plan, noting that he is still not in support of a massive spending bill.
Reporters asked Manchin if he was surprised by the president’s comments that seemed aimed at trying to revitalize a social spending plan.
“They just can’t help themselves,” Manchin said, The Hill reported.
“I don’t know where that came from,” he jokingly added.
Biden seems eager to get the Build Back Better Plan, at least in some form, back on the table.
The White House announced before the State of the Union address that the president would be going to Wisconsin the next day to “deliver remarks on Building a Better America and how the bipartisan infrastructure law delivers for the American people by rebuilding roads and bridges and creating good-paying, union jobs,” Yahoo News reported.
“Nothing’s changed,” Manchin said, the Hill reported. “There might be parts they want to talk about. I don’t know. That was a little bit far.”
“I’ve never found out that you can lower costs by spending more.”
“You can’t say it better than that,” remarked Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who was walking with Manchin at the time of his remarks.
At the beginning of February, the West Virginia Senator had also commented on the plan and how it was quite irrelevant by that point.
“What Build Back Better bill? I don’t know what you guys are talking about. It’s dead,” Manchin said, Newsweek reported.
In addition to his remarks after the president’s State of the Union address, Manchin also notably sat with Republicans for the speech.
Instead of sitting with his fellow Democrats, he was seen on the other side of the House chamber with Sens. Romney, Roger Wicker and John Barrasso, Newsweek reported.