The scene on Capitol Hill today perfectly encapsulated the Democrats’ internal dynamics right now: Sen. RON WYDEN (D-Ore.) was talking to reporters just before lunch about how he was certain that Dems could all find common ground on Build Back Better, specifically name-checking Sen. JOE MANCHIN of West Virginia.
Moments later, Insider reporter Joseph Zeballos caught sight of Manchin himself and decided to break away from the Wyden gaggle to ask whether raising the cap on SALT deductions should go in BBB.
Manchin’s response: “What Build Back Better bill? There is no … I mean, I don’t know what y’all are talking about.”
Asked if he is engaged in talks on the bill, Manchin seemed to get a bit peeved: “No, no, no, no. It’s dead.”
Just after 1 p.m., the senator was asked to clarify if he truly meant that BBB is “dead.” He said: “If we're talking about the whole big package, that’s gone.” Would he mind a smaller version? “We’ll see what people come up with. I don't know.”