Dec 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

AOC blames BBB death on Dems: "No one can really promise a Manchin vote"

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Monday said Democratic leadership, including President Biden, were to blame for the death of the Build Back Better Act, saying that they could have never guaranteed support from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

What she's saying: "The president did say that ... the Build Back Better Act was promised and that he's got it. We said, you know, he can't— no one can really promise a Manchin vote," Ocasio-Cortez told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

  • The Democratic leadership "needs to step up, and I think that we can do that. I do not believe that the situation is beyond repair. But it's going to take a different kind of thinking to get out of it than it did to get into it," she added.
  • "It's really about time that we start to get serious about governing. As well as leaning on the president's executive authority, which I do not believe has been used to the fullest extent that the American people deserve."

Driving the news: Manchin on Sunday announced he would not support Biden's Build Back Better legislation, all but guaranteeing the end of the $1.75 trillion spending package that is the centerpiece of the president's agenda.

  • "I think what senator Manchin did yesterday represents such an egregious breach of the trust of the president," Ocasio-Cortez said about a White House statement out Sunday which claimed said Manchin told Biden he would support the legislation days earlier.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez said that progressives had already warned that this could happen, which is why the caucus opposed separating the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the BBB.

  • The New York representative said that it "makes very little sense" to give Manchin the opportunity to rebuild the act: "We need to really make it very clear that this bill, this framework was signed off by Joe Manchin. And so this is a Joe Manchin Build Back Better Act."
  • Ocasio-Cortez said the progressive caucus need to increase pressure on other lawmakers to prevent similar events from happening again: "I think what's extremely important is that we really need to start creating an environment of pressure, very similar to the filibuster, where now you don't even need to talk to engage a filibuster, but you just need to threaten it."

Go deeper: White House accuses Manchin of betraying "commitments" on BBB

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