Joe Biden is reeling from one massive political defeat.
Fresh off the disaster in Afghanistan, Biden is trying to change course.
But now, a member of his own party just sank Biden’s largest agenda push after one shocking betrayal.
Joe Biden has had perhaps the worst summer of any American president in history.
After his disastrous withdraw from Afghanistan resulted in the Taliban taking tens of millions of dollars worth of taxpayer-funded military equipment, Biden’s approval ratings finally slipped underwater for the first time since January.
Biden’s botched withdraw also led to renewed calls to prolong America’s longest war, with fears over a Taliban takeover giving strength to authoritarian Republicans and Democrats alike.
But as Biden attempted to shift the focus to other areas in a desperate bid to regain his support among the American public, one of his own party members just destroyed his largest policy push in one shocking act of betrayal.
The Associated Press reports, “A Democratic senator vital to the fate of President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan for social and environmental spending said Sunday he won’t support even half that amount or the ambitious timetable envisioned for passing it.
The stand by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was described as unacceptable by the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, who is helping craft the measure. But Democrats have no votes to spare if they want to enact Biden’s massive “Build Back Better” agenda, with the Senate split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris the tiebreaker if there is no Republican support.”
Manchin has been the largest thorn in Biden’s side for months.
With control of the Senate coming down to a single vote, Manchin has been able to effectively exploit his position to accumulate even more political power in his corner, to the detriment of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Biden himself.
Now, with Biden trying to change the focus to his latest spending proposal, Manchin is on the verge of throwing his new budget to the wolves by demanding that the President slash his spending plans by as much as 50%.
“I cannot support $3.5 trillion,” Manchin said when asked about Biden’s bill.
“We should be looking at everything, and we’re not. We don’t have the need to rush into this and get it done within one week because there’s some deadline we’re meeting, or someone’s going to fall through the cracks,” he added.
Manchin’s position has left Democrats in a bind, with more left-wing members of the party like Bernie Sanders demanding that Biden increase his budget to as much as $6 trillion. With Manchin attempting to cut the original proposal by more than half, there’s little chance that the Sanders-wing of the party will go along with his proposals.
This is putting the entire budget bill in jeopardy at a time when Biden is seeking a political win after weeks of disaster abroad. But with Manchin’s protests, it now appears that disaster is coming home as well.