Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has said he thinks US President Joe Biden’s social spending and climate bill, called the Build Back Better Act, is “dead forever” as Democrats in the Senate struggle to get unified behind the legislation.
The White House and some Democrats however claim that the $1.75 trillion bill will reduce the cost of living for many low-income families and ease inflation over the long run.
Senator Graham is concerned about the potential impact the bill would have on inflation. The Build Back Better bill, which passed the House in November, currently contains a variety of tax cuts and new federal spending provisions.
“I think Build Back Better is dead forever, and let me tell you why: because Joe Manchin has said he's not going to vote for a bill that will add to the deficit,” Graham said on Wednesday during an interview with Fox New.
“At the end of the day, Joe Manchin has promised the people of West Virginia, ‘I will not vote for a bill that adds to the deficit that's full of gimmicks,’ so I think [it] is dead forever,” he added.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has signaled concerns about the roughly $2 trillion cost of the bill and its potential effects on inflation.
Inflation rates in the US continue to soar. Last week, reports said that consumer prices had risen by 6.8 percent in the past year leading into November which is the highest annual inflation rate since 1982.
The grim economic situation has posed a political nightmare for the Biden administration and cemented expectations for the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates next year.
Senator Manchin voiced concerns on Monday about inflation and the effect of Biden's Build Back Better bill on rising prices.
"Inflation is real, it's not transitory. It's alarming. It's going up, not down. And I think that should be something we're concerned about," the West Virginia moderate said, according to The Hill. "These are all concerns.... The unknown right now is very, very great."
Graham said on Wednesday the bill written in the Senate is “a lie.”
“The CBO and the inflation number last Friday, I think, kill Build Back Better. They were trying to pass a lie, and God bless Joe Manchin for sticking to his guns,” Graham added.
More than two-thirds of Americans say they disapprove of how Biden is handling inflation, which is creating hardships for most people in the United States, according to a recent poll.
The ABC News-Ipsos poll released on Sunday found that 69 percent of people in the United States disapprove of how the Democratic president has handled inflation, while only 28 percent said they approve.
Fifty-seven percent of voters said they disapprove of Biden's performance on economic recovery.