Letters to the Editor: It wasn’t just Joe Manchin. Fifty Republicans also killed ‘Build Back Better’

Sen. Joe Manchin III walks through a hallway in the basement of the U.S. Capitol on Dec. 15.
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)

To the editor: Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) is but one among many dissembling, self-serving politicians.

I am not saying cut him some slack for declaring his opposition to President Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda. I just don’t understand why all the burden must be on Democrats to pass legislation to solve the problems faced by people in this country.

How did it come to pass that all the “me-firsters” in the Republican Party got an exemption from watching out for their constituents? Some of the ink and airtime devoted to the recalcitrant Manchin should be turned to answering how the Republican Party escapes accountability.


Marcia Goldstein, Laguna Woods


To the editor: Manchin’s “no” vote is not the sounding of the death knell for the effort to tackle climate change, nor is it a threat to climate policy.

It does, however, send a message that he will not continue to approve programs that Congress refuses to fully fund. This is a refreshing new approach. It also sends the message that Biden does not have an FDR-sized mandate to tackle all of our problems at once.

Where, then, do we start?

We could be honest about the long-term effect of currently existing programs such as Medicare and Social Security. How will we fund these and other programs going forward?

Kevin Minihan, Los Angeles


To the editor: As the domestic and global wreckage from Manchin’s opposition to Biden’s spending agenda metastasizes, so does the senator’s horrifying legacy. In his stubborn resistance to funding meaningful action on the climate crisis, Manchin seems to believe that he can defy the laws of nature.


The majority of Americans wants our country to lead the world in climate action. The senator works for us, not his handlers or his voracious ego.

Memo to Manchin: Even as you help hurl us toward a sixth global mass extinction, while damaging our credibility abroad, there is hope. Should you ever see the light, I would be glad to provide a reading list to help inspire in you some moral and courageous leadership.

Ellen Chavez Kelley, Santa Barbara


To the editor: When it comes to finally doing something, anything, about issues critical to the well-being of average Americans, the Senate has failed.

The failure is not solely because of Manchin. It is because of the Republican Party.

There is not one voice among the party’s 50 senators for children or seniors. All reject both taking an international leadership role to address climate change and restoring a modicum of fairness to the corporate tax structure.

Not having one Republican out of 50 willing to put the protection of Americans ahead of their political obsessions and fears is the reason the government cannot act, not the lack of integrity of a self-possessed senator representing the state with arguably the lowest quality of life in this country.

Given the needs, none of us should even know Manchin’s name.

Michael McGuire, Palm Desert