OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Vice President Kamala harris vowed this week that neither she nor President Joe Biden plans to give up on trying to pass his “Build Back Better” legislation which has been ripped in a bipartisan fashion as a multitrillion-dollar social and climate spending boondoggle that will worsen already high inflation.
Harris’ remarks were made in an interview with “Face The Nation” host Margaret Brennan just a few days after Democratic moderate from West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin, said he can’t support the bill as-is, depriving his party of a bare majority to pass the measure under budget reconciliation.
“This is going to be hard for the economy. Are you going to need to ask Congress for another relief package?” Brennen claimed without explaining how a bill that would impose massive new taxes on businesses and corporations — job and wealth creators — would be bad for economic growth.
Well, I’m glad you talked about the economy. Let’s talk about the economy. First of all, as an administration, as we look at the end of the year, there are specific facts that we are proud of on the issue of the economy. We have reduced unemployment down to 4.2%.
The economists predicted that we wouldn’t get there for another couple of years, but here we are. We have reduced the deficit by over $300 billion. We have created over 6 million jobs, so there are good things that happened- have happened as it relates to the strength of the economy.
Let’s also talk about the most recent facts. Excuse me, not Moody’s, but Goldman Sachs indicated that the failure to pass BBB, the Build Back Better Act is going to have a negative impact on our fiscal health.
That’s true — and Goldman Sachs was ripped for making a “bad economic call” as well, but that’s another story.
But the converse is also true. And again, what is within our grasp to pass Build Back Better? Where we bring down the cost of living. When we talk about the economy, the average person in America is going to measure the economy based on can they actually just afford to get through the day and through the month. The cost of living, can they keep up with the cost of living, child care, elder care, prescription drugs? And that’s one of the reasons our priority.
To your point about the economy that has been the fuel behind our insistence that we find common ground in Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act so we can bring down the cost of living for- for real Americans working people.
Harris’ comments led Brennan to remark: “You’re talking about the Build Back Better act like it still has some life to it. As you know, Sen. Joe Manchin said, he’s a no. You don’t have the votes.”
“You know, I was in the Senate for four years before I came here, and I have seen the ups and downs in terms of legislation. I mean, those of us who study history, recent or- or ancient know that there are many times over the course of history where legislation was doomed to be dead and it still kept going,” Harris said.
“The Affordable Care Act being one of the most recent examples of that, or even the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act now not deal, where lots of folks said it was dead on arrival, but we got it done. So, I’m not giving up, the president’s not giving up, and frankly, the stakes are too high,” she added.
But it’s not clear how spending new trillions of dollars will alleviate Manchin’s inflationary concerns, which he has cited as a big deal among his constituents.
Still, when asked by Brennan if she blames Manchin, Harris was diplomatic: “I think the stakes are too high for this to be in any way about any specific individual.”