Austin, Texas – On Sunday morning, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin went on Fox News to announce that he will not vote for the Build Back Better Act (BBB), dealing a major blow to President Joe Biden’s agenda. Without Manchin’s vote, the bill will not pass, and the American people will be denied the support that would make all of our lives easier. For Latinos in particular, this would have provided support by expanding the child tax credit, lowering the cost of childcare overall, updating the state’s energy grid, and creating good-paying jobs in the clean energy industry.
Manchin has now failed to stand up for policies that a majority of Americans support, but his failure cannot become an excuse for why the Biden administration has not taken more decisive action. Manchin has shown that the big-money interests that fund his campaigns are more important than the policies that will benefit Latinos and working people across the country, in West Virginia and Texas. Although this is a serious setback, we cannot allow one Senator to stand in the way of progress, and we must hold all of our leaders accountable for doing everything they possibly can to fight for us.
The Build Back Better agenda must move forward and become law in 2022. Moreover, we need to ensure that a pathway to citizenship is passed through reconciliation as well, regardless of the recommendation of the unelected Senate Parliamentarian. On other issues like student debt forgiveness, where President can take significant action to cancel student debt by executive order, he must act now. Although BBB cannot pass right now, the most important individual pieces of BBB must continue to move forward either through executive order or individual bills. With 2022 right around the corner, we must keep up the pressure for policies that will benefit the Latino community.