This past weekend West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced he will not vote to pass the legislation that would lower prescription drug prices. The drug price reduction provision is part of the “Build Back Better” legislation under consideration in the Senate.
There is much speculation in Washington about what happens now - whether the entire bill is dead, or modified to satisfy Manchin, or whether key pieces of the bill will be brought up individually for votes.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has said the Build Back Better bill will be brought up for a vote early next year, but unless things somehow change it would be defeated.
Manchin’s vote is critical because the Senate is divided equally between Democrats and Republicans and every Republican in the Senate will vote “no” on the bill whenever it is voted on. If every Democrat would vote for it, Vice President Kamilla Harris would break the tie in favor of the bill because the Constitution says the Vice President is also President of the Senate.