AOC calls for Schumer to ‘force a vote’ on stalled social spending bill amid Manchin opposition: ‘We need to act now’

AOC calls for Schumer to ‘force a vote’ on stalled social spending bill amid Manchin opposition: ‘We need to act now’

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York speaks during a news conference at the US Capitol December 8, 2021.

AOC on Friday called for Senate Democrats to “force a vote” on their climate and social spending bill.
“Learned helplessness is not a disposition that inspires confidence or support,” she warned.
The Build Back Better Act remains stalled amid continued opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday vented her frustration with Senate Democrats amid the apparent stalling of the party’s’ Build Back Better social spending and climate bill.

In a series of tweets, the progressive congresswoman and “Squad” member called on the Senate to “force a vote” on the bill, despite West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s continued opposition.

“People want to ‘but Manchin’ everyone to death, but learned helplessness is not a disposition that inspires confidence or support,” she wrote. “The President has tools at his disposal. Leadership has tools at their disposal. If it really is just 1-2 votes, Senate should force a vote on [the bill].”

Ocasio-Cortez went on to say that President Joe Biden promised House progressives that he was “putting his credibility on the line” to deliver a vote on Build Back Better as long as members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus voted for a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Progressives ultimately voted to pass the infrastructure bill in early November, though Ocasio-Cortez was one of 6 Democratic lawmakers who voted against it, citing a desire to vote on both bills at the same time.

“They trusted him,” she wrote, referring to other progressives that voted for the infrastructure bill. “I didn’t think he could promise the Senate. He promised anyway. It’s time for him to deliver.”

The House ultimately passed its own version of the social spending bill later in November, just days after Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law.

“We need to act now,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez in another tweet. In addition to Build Back Better, the congresswoman highlighted Democrats’ lack of action on student loan forgiveness and letting the child tax credit lapse.

Forcing a vote? ‘They do it all the time’

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is followed to his car by reporters after a vote at the US Capitol on December 14, 2021.

Despite months of intense lobbying from Democrats and the White House, Manchin still hasn’t thrown his support behind the spending plan. The measure would extend cash payments to families for another year, set up universal pre-K, and more. Manchin is still skeptical about the bill’s price tag and whether it adds to inflation.

Without Manchin’s vote, Senate Democrats can’t approve the centerpiece of Biden’s agenda and skirt GOP opposition.

Some Senate Democrats are in favor of trying to force Manchin’s hand with a vote. “Many people will sit on the fence as long as possible,” Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranked Democrat in the upper chamber, told reporters on Tuesday. “It comes a time we’ve got to say, ‘All right, we’ve done the negotiating. We’ve made the accommodations, it’s time to put up or shut up.'”

But Senate Democrats have disagreements of their own to work out first and there’s no legislative text. They’re still feuding over how to roll back a limit on state and local tax deductions as well as Medicare expansion.

Biden on Thursday evening effectively conceded the bill wasn’t going to pass anytime soon, suggesting in a statement that it may take “weeks” of additional negotiations with the centrist holdout. He also reiterated a commitment to pass a wide-range voting rights and elections reform bill.

But Ocasio-Cortez is holding firm in her belief that putting the bill up to a vote could change Manchin’s mind.

“Fact is when Dem leadership is really, truly set on something, they use a huge amount of procedural, political, media, & resource tools to force votes in very powerful ways,” she wrote in another tweet. “They do it all the time. They did it with BIF, they do it with defense, now they need to do it with BBB.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Politics, Economy, AOC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Joe Manchin, Build Back Better, Reconciliation, Congress, Biden spending bill

All Content from Business Insider

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.