Sen. Joe Manchin said Sunday he won't support the $2 trillion tax-and-spending plan that's the heart of President Joe Biden's economic agenda — which includes a controversial provision that would give consumers an extra incentive to buy union-made electric vehicles — effectively killing Democrats' plans to pass the legislation as they begin an election year.
"I can't get there," Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday."
The White House and Democratic congressional leaders were informed earlier Sunday that the West Virginia Democrat was a firm no on the legislation, according to a person familiar with the matter.
His decision caught White House officials by surprise after he had given Biden just days ago an outline of a $1.8 trillion plan he could support, according to another person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Manchin was a crucial vote for the package in the 50-50 Senate, and getting his support was one of the last remaining hurdles for the party in negotiations over a bill that Democrats aimed to make a centerpiece of their campaigns in the 2022 midterm congressional elections.
Manchin said that his concerns about rising inflation and the $29 trillion national debt led to his decision. He said that the House bill is not honest because it creates many benefits that expire rather than creating a few for 10 years that are fully paid for.
"If I can't go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can't vote for it. And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't," Manchin said on "Fox News Sunday."
"This is a no on this legislation," he said.
Republicans wooed Manchin with arguments first that the package was too big, and later, after Democrats slashed its topline to appease Manchin, that it was filled with budget gimmicks — like shortening the effective timelines for programs such as the expanded child tax credit — to mask its size.