Joe Manchin Objects to Another Build Back Better Policy: Everything the Senator Has Opposed

West Virginia's Joe Manchin has come out against another policy included in President Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill: a federal tax credit for union-made electric vehicles.

The moderate Democratic senator has been at the center of the months-long negotiations on the sweeping social safety net package. Manchin's vote is crucial in passing the bill through the budget reconciliation process in a 50-50 Senate where all Republicans are in opposition.

Manchin objected to the original $3.5 trillion price tag of the bill, as did fellow centrist senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The legislation has now been scaled down to the $1.75 trillion range.

Manchin has also expressed concern about the bill's impact on inflation and the national debt.

"Throughout the last three months, I have been straightforward about my concerns that I will not support a reconciliation package that expands social programs and irresponsibly adds to our nearly $29 trillion in national debt that no one else seems to care about," Manchin said in a statement. "Nor will I support a package that risks hurting American families suffering from historic inflation."

Here's a list of specific provisions he has voiced opposition to included in the Build Back Better act.

Paid Family Leave

Manchin has said while he supports providing paid family leave, he doesn't support it being included in the social bill.

"Let's get it done in regular order through the process," he told CNN earlier this month. "It'll last. It'll be forever."

Biden originally proposed 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, but the provision was taken out of his framework for a pared-down version of the legislation. Democratic leaders later said they were looking to put four weeks of paid leave back into the bill.

Tax Credit for Union-Made Electric Vehicles

Manchin told Automotive News this week that the $4,500 federal tax credit for union-made electric cars is "not American."

"We shouldn't use everyone's tax dollars to pick winners and losers," the senator said. "If you're a capitalist economy that we are in society then you let the product speak for itself, and hopefully, we'll get that, that'll be corrected."

The Build Back Better bill includes a $7,500 tax credit for people who buy an electric vehicle through 2026. An additional $4,500 credit would be added for those who buy a vehicle manufactured in a U.S. factory with union labor, such as General Motors and Ford Motor.

Joe Manchin Objects to Another BBB Policy
Senator Joe Manchin has opposed several policies originally included in President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda. In this photo, Manchin arrives for a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 1 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Imags

The Clean Electricity Performance Program

The CEPP was altered after Manchin poured cold water on the $150 billion program. The measure would have financially rewarded utilities that increase their share of clean energy by 4 percent per year while punishing those that fall short with fees.

"We're already transitioning, we've transitioned [toward clean energy]," Manchin told a reporter in October.

"So the president's going to go with a full hat, the only thing they want us to do is to pay $150 billion for what is already happening," he added.

Medicare Expansions

Manchin has resisted expanding Medicare benefits without addressing the health insurance program's solvency. The program is on track to run out of funds by 2026, according to the Medicare Board of Trustees' latest report to Congress.

"You've got to stabilize that first before you look at basically expansion. So if we're not being fiscally responsible, that's a concern," Manchin told CNN.

Expansions to dental and vision have been cut from the original Build Back Better proposal. But the current text of the legislation does include Medicare expansions for hearing services.

Newsweek reached out to Manchin's office for comment.