AOC swipes at Joe Manchin, saying he has 'a different demand' every day and is making it tough for Democrats to pass Biden's economic agenda
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized Manchin for holding up Biden's economic agenda.
- "This idea of just give him what he wants — he's been given everything that he wants," she said.
- Democrats are returning to the drawing board on Build Back Better after Manchin torpedoed it.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York took a swipe at Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, saying the Democratic holdout changed his mind from one day to the next on President Joe Biden's proposed $2 trillion social- and climate-spending package.
Ocasio-Cortez criticized Manchin, saying he issued a "laundry list" of demands on the plan, which is directed at expanding healthcare and childcare, as well as aggressively combating the climate emergency.
"The issue that we have is that every day Joe Manchin wakes up, he has a different demand. And he wants to start over from scratch every single day," she told MSNBC on Wednesday night. "That is a quite difficult position to work with."
She added: "This idea of just give him what he wants — he's been given everything that he wants."
Her comments reflect a simmering frustration that many Democrats — particularly progressives — have with Manchin for derailing the centerpiece of the party's economic agenda last month. He has listed several concerns with the bill, including its effects on inflation and the national debt.
Manchin has criticized the "shell games" of the plan that he said were meant to disguise its true cost. He has also said since the fall that he wants the price tag to be kept at no more than $1.75 trillion.
Democrats labored to strike a deal with him on major parts of the bill, including the expanded child tax credit , which would provide checks to families. But he later reiterated his demands that the measure include a work requirement.
Manchin had pitched the White House on a $1.8 trillion package that included subsidies people could use to purchase health insurance from Affordable Care Act exchanges, universal pre-K, and childcare. But he told Insider earlier this month the offer was off the table and future negotiations with the White House would be "starting from scratch."
Party leaders are going in the opposite direction and urging rank-and-file members to avoid pummeling Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, another holdout who demanded major tax changes to the legislation. Senate Democrats can't afford a single defection in their drive to turn the package into law.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week that she communicated to House Democrats that criticizing the centrist pair may backfire on the party as it tried to assemble a new and slimmer Build Back Better plan.
"I have discouraged it because we are a giant kaleidoscope here, Democrats and Republicans," she said at her weekly press conference earlier this month. "You never know who is going to be in the design of the next bill. And so we have to be respectful."
Senate Democrats are poised to head back to the drawing board in the near future and overhaul the plan in an attempt to address Manchin's fiscal demands. Some Democrats are eyeing a bill centered on extending ACA subsidies and drug-price controls, along with climate and green-energy measures.
But they're far from reaching 50 votes. Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote on Twitter Wednesday that a major tax cut for the wealthy was out of the plan, causing almost immediate pushback from other Democrats that want it in the plan.Read the original article on Business Insider