In yet another setback for President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better bill, talks stalled again in the Senate on Thursday, with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin once again playing devil’s advocate against his own party.
His anger and frustration were palpable as he finally snapped at a reporter Thursday over his opposition to parts of the bill.
At issue is the inclusion of a child tax credit that would continue giving $300 monthly payments to families with young kids. Manchin had initially supported at least a one-year extension of the credit but appears to be wavering on the issue. He now insists that it should be paid for completely for a period of ten years — something that even one of the bill’s leading proponents, Senator Dick Durbin, says was never the intention of the credit:
To start off, he takes the total amount of the package and cuts it in half, and now he says everything has to be paid out for ten years. Well, there comes a point where you’ve got to say to Senator Manchin, ‘If we’re paying for everything we have scheduled, if we’re keeping faith with the American people, we’re not adding to the deficit, we’re not making it worse for inflation. But for you to speculate what will this cost if these are extended for ten years, is just that — it’s speculation. It’s not really the reality of what we’re doing.’
Asked about the stall in talks by reporters outside the Senate building, Manchin exploded in anger. HuffPost’s politics reporter Arthur Delaney asked Senator Manchin to confirm reports that the child tax credit had become a roadblock to the passage of the bill, and Manchin was outraged:
This is bulls–t. You’re bulls–t. I’m done. I’m done. I’m not opposed to child tax credit, I’ve never been opposed to child tax credit. Guys, I’m not negotiating with any of you all. You can ask all the questions you want. Guys, let me go. This is bulls–t. You’re bulls–t.
“This is bullshit. You’re bullshit,” Joe Manchin just told me
— Arthur Delaney 🇺🇸 (@ArthurDelaneyHP) December 15, 2021 
Manchin’s resistance to a bill that America wants and needs comes from a place that looks to many like a Republican stance. President Biden continues to try and talk to Manchin privately, but they will need to find some common ground, and soon.