Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., had privately raised concerns in recent months that parents would use their Child Tax Credit payments, a key piece of the Build Back Better legislation to buy drugs, three sources familiar with the comments said.
“I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” he said in a statement Sunday. “My Democratic colleagues in Washington are determined to dramatically reshape our society in a way that leaves our country even more vulnerable to the threats we face. I cannot take that risk with a staggering debt of more than $29 trillion and inflation taxes that are real and harmful to every hard-working American at the gasoline pumps, grocery stores and utility bills with no end in sight.”
According to HuffPost, before Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced Sunday that he “cannot get there” to support the $1.75 trillion investment in social spending and climate policy, the senator privately told colleagues that “he thought parents would waste monthly child tax credit (CTC) payments on drugs instead of providing for their children.”
Manchin was alleged to have said he believed paid family leave would be exploited by Americans to go hunting during deer season — particularly in his home state of West Virginia, according to two separate sources familiar with the comments.
Since July, the CTC payments have gone out on a monthly basis to families across the country, offering up to $300 per child for two-parent households earning less than $150,000 per year or single-parent households earning less than $112,000.
The monthly disbursement of the credit marked the first time in U.S. history a major tax credit was sent in advanced payments, helping families to cover day-to-day expenses in the second half of 2021 instead of waiting for a lump sum after filing their taxes.
In a response from the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki accused Manchin of backtracking in negotiations with the president after submitting to Biden last week a potential framework for the social policy and spending plan.
“Senator Manchin promised to continue conversations in the days ahead and to work with us to reach that common ground. If his comments on Fox and written statement indicate an end to that effort, they represent a sudden and inexplicable reversal in his position, and a breach of his commitments to the president and the senator’s colleagues in the House and Senate,” Psaki said.