Goldman Sachs revised down its US economic growth projection after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said he would not vote to back President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill, CNN reports.
Manchin after nearly six months of negotiations told Fox News on Sunday that he will not support the $1.75 billion bill, which includes an extension of the Child Tax Credit, climate change funding, universal pre-K, health care funding, and more.
"And I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation. I just can't. I've tried everything humanly possible. I can't get there," he said. "This is a no on this legislation. I have tried everything I know to do. And the President has worked diligently. He's been wonderful to work with. He knows I've had concerns and the problems I've had and, you know, the thing that we should all be directing our attention towards the variant, a Covid that we have coming back at us in so many different aspects in different ways, it's affecting our lives again."
Goldman Sachs said after the comment that it had revised its GDP growth forecast from 3% in the first quarter of 2022 to 2%.
"A failure to pass BBB has negative growth implications," the bank’s report said.
The bank also cut its second-quarter forecast from 3.5% to 3% and its third-quarter from 3% to 2.75%.
The bank said the expanded child tax credit was the most important question for the near-term outlook." While there is “some chance” that Congress extends the credit, "the odds of this happening seem to be less than even at this point,” Goldman concluded.
White House fires back:
Manchin dispatched an aide to give the White House a heads up before his Fox News appearance but reportedly rejected a call from the White House before going on TV.
The White House on Sunday called out Manchin for his abrupt reversal.
"Senator Manchin's comments this morning on FOX are at odds with his discussions this week with the President, with White House staff, and with his own public utterances," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
She said Manchin brought Biden an outline of a plan he could support that “was the same size and scope as the President's framework, and covered many of the same priorities.”
The White House "believed it could lead to a compromise acceptable to all," and that Manchin "promised to continue conversations in the days ahead, and to work with us to reach that common ground,” Psaki said, adding that Manchin’s comments Sunday “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."
Schumer pushes vote:
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed to press ahead with a vote on the package, calling Manchin a source of frustration within the Senate Democratic caucus.
Schumer said the Senate will “consider the Build Back Better Act, very early in the new year so that every Member of this body has the opportunity to make their position known on the Senate floor, not just on television.”
Schumer said the Senate would vote on a revised version of the House plan and “keep voting on it until we get something done.”
“Neither that delay, nor other recent pronouncements, will deter us from continuing to try to find a way forward,” Schumer said. “We simply cannot give up. We must and we will keep fighting to deliver for working families.”