Lindsey Graham Says Biden’s $2 Trillion Build Back Better Account Is ‘Forever Dead’
sen. Lindsey Graham said he now thinks President Biden’s Build Back Better bill is “dead forever” after Democrats announced they would table the legislation until after Christmas.
The South Carolina Republican said the Congressional Budget Office score, which showed the $1.75 trillion bill would add $3 trillion to the deficit, led to his downfall.
“I think Build Back Better is dead forever and let me tell you why: Because Joe Manchin has said he won’t vote for a bill that will widen the deficit,” he told Fox News’ Hannity Wednesday night.
Well, if you take away the budget gimmicks, Build Back Better, according to the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] adds $3 trillion to the deficit.”
“He won’t vote for a bill that will exacerbate inflation — and there’s one thing we haven’t discussed tonight and that’s been mentioned today… the childcare facilities in Build Back Better forbid religious institutions from receiving money.”
The Congressional Budget Office said Friday that the Build Back Better legislation could increase the federal deficit by $3 trillion in a decade if the programs are made permanent.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is peddling a “fake” CBO score to get Manchin not to vote for the bill.
What we’re talking about here is a fake CBO score that’s not based on the actual bill someone is voting on,” Psaki said at a briefing. “This was a question — Senator Graham’s request to score a bill that’s not currently being debated.”
Graham asked the CBO to calculate the effects of the bill on the deficit if programs — including a tax credit for children and free kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds — were to continue for more than 10 years, rather than phase out sooner, as proposed by Democrats.
Graham claimed he requested the CBO score at Manchin’s request.
“Joe Manchin came up to me and he said, ‘I think this bill is full of tricks, that these programs don’t go away, Lindsey, and if you score them for ten years, I think the bill will double.” Well, it didn’t double, it was almost 2.5 times,” he told Fox News Sunday.
Manchin, a leading centrist Democratic voice, has raised child tax credit provisions in the bill as a point of contention. The West Virginia senator was angered by reporters on Wednesday as he argued for thwarting Democrats’ plans to pass the bill before Christmas.
‘This is k*t. You’re an asshole,” he yelled at Arthur Delaney, a HuffPost political reporter who asked him about reports that the child tax credit has become a major sticking point in his discussions with the White House.
The South Carolina Republican said the Congressional Budget Office score, which showed the $1.75 trillion bill would add $3 trillion to the deficit, led to his downfall
Manchin, a leading centrist Democratic voice, has raised the bill’s child tax credit provisions as a point of contention
“I’m ready, I’m ready,” Manchin bellowed as the questions continued.
“Guys, I’m not negotiating with any of you. You can ask any questions you want. Guys, let me go,” he told the press as he walked through the basement of the Capitol, muttering “God Almighty” as he walked away.
A well-known source told DailyMail.com that after his conversation with Biden earlier this week, the president and senator were still “miles apart.”
Manchin, who spoke to another group of reporters, denied reports of child tax credit, saying reporters hear “a lot of bad rumours.”
“I’m not against child discounts, I’ve never been against child discounts,” he insisted.
The West Virginia senator objected to reports that he plans to repay or limit the expanded child tax credit that most Democrats want to keep in Biden’s signature legislation.
To complicate matters further, the state of West Virginia is one of the largest beneficiaries of the child tax credit, which was expanded in a COVID relief package earlier this year.
According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, an estimated 346,000 children in West Virginia — 93 percent of all children in the state — live in households eligible for the tax credit.
But it boils down to Manchin’s belief that the cost of the Build Back Better account should not exceed $1.75 trillion, a source familiar with his thinking told Politico.
“Senator Manchin doesn’t tell President Biden what to include or not to include. He has always been in favor of the “child tax relief,” the source said. But the cost of extending the child tax credit for 10 years, which is the ultimate goal for Democrats, is about $1.4 trillion.
But any proposal to remove the child tax credit from Biden’s bill would likely meet strong opposition from other Democratic lawmakers, who like the credit.