So much for building back better. Instead of finding a huge environmental and spending bill under the tree this Christmas, democrats in Washington are getting a lump of coal. It comes courtesy of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who finally said he cannot vote for the $2 trillion federal spending plan. Democrats had spent more than five months negotiation with Manchin, but to no avail. The bill would have provided hundreds of billions of dollars to millions of American families by extending and expanding a tax credit, creating free preschool and increasing child care aid. The bill also would have created tax breaks for curbing carbon emissions. Other provisions would have limited prescription drug price increases and bolstered aid for the elderly, housing and job training. So where do they go from here? With Congress in recess a vote before Christmas is unlikely although it could be the first order of business in the new year. It will likely be a pared down bill, perhaps enough for Manchin to accept. Perhaps it is best to tackle these issues one by one, rather than as part of one huge package. Want to limit drug prices? Vote on a bill to do that. Creating free preschool? Put it to a vote. Congress can still get these things done, it just won’t be building back better all at once.