In a recent appearance on Fox News’ America Reports, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) declared that President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, at least in its current iteration, “is dead.”
The congresswoman’s comments came as Democrats are hoping to soon revive the legislative package, which failed to make it to the president’s desk before the New Year after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) came out against it.
But it may never make it past Capitol Hill if Republicans have anything to do about it. “Well, I think the Build Back Better bill, as is, is dead,” Malliotakis said last week, according to Fox.
She explained: “Republicans unanimously voted against it in the House. We see Senator Manchin coming out. I think there’s other Democrats, quite frankly, in the Senate who are not comfortable voting for this bill.”
Manchin holds firm
According to CNBC, negotiations over Build Back Better between Manchin and top Democrats on the Hill and in the White House stalled ahead of the Christmas holiday as the West Virginia senator refused to give in to the bill’s hefty price tag.
Manchin’s opposition even prompted rumors that he may switch parties and join the GOP. “I hope he does. I’ve asked him to,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) said of the prospect in an interview with Fox News last month. “I think every Republican senator has made that case a dozen times to Joe.”
In the meantime, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised his chamber “will keep voting on [the legislation] until we get something done.”
GOP fights back
But it’s not just Manchin that Democrats have to worry about. Speaking on America Reports, Malliotakis argued that Republicans have also had a lot to do with the failure of Biden’s Build Back Better plan thus far.
“If you look at what happened this year, we’ve exposed that Build Back Better law for what it was, and it ended up dying because Democrats didn’t want to support it,” she said, according to Fox.
Democrats’ biggest problem, Malliotakis said, is that Americans aren’t sold on their agenda, either.
“People understand that when taxpayers pay taxes, they expect certain things in return, and there are obvious things like national security, making sure we have a strong defense, making sure that we have money for quality education in public school systems, Medicare for our seniors, and of course, infrastructure,” she declared. “The issue is that Democrats now want to create unnecessary new programs, social programs, welfare without work programs, and other entitlements that we just simply cannot afford.”
She went on:
So, I think this is going to be certainly a showdown. I’m sure that the Democrats are going to try to continue to push forward with various pieces of their agenda, but I will say this: Republicans have been very good at actually stopping major pieces of their agenda.