Perspectives: Joe Manchin’s Opposition to Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill
Headline Roundup September 13th, 2021
On Sunday, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin reasserted his opposition to spending $3.5 trillion over ten years on Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill, instead suggesting a $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion figure. “It's not going to be at 3.5, I can assure you. But, with that, whatever it is, once you have a competitive tax code that you can compete globally, and then you should look at what the need is,” Manchin told CNN’s Dana Bash. With a narrow majority and unanimous opposition from Senate Republicans, Democrats need Manchin’s vote to pass their bill. On Sunday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Manchin’s position was “absolutely not acceptable,” adding, “This is a consequential bill. It is hard to put a bill like this together. At the end of the day I believe we will.”
Voices in left-rated outlets were more common on Monday and tended to express frustration with Manchin. Voices right-rated outlets tended to praise Manchin’s opposition to Democrats’ spending plans, calling on other Democrats to block the bill.
How do you solve a problem like Joe Manchin? This is the question angry Democrats have been asking themselves ever since the senator from West Virginia said it was time to take a “strategic pause” on plans to pass a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package.
The answer, unfortunately, is not much; there is little Democrats can do to persuade, pressure or punish Manchin. But that doesn’t mean Manchin holds all the cards. There’s only so far he can push back against the rest of the Democratic Party without harming himself.
When a moderate goes against his party, the political media are drawn like moths to a flame. Such was the case with Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) on Sunday, as he appeared on NBC’s, CNN’s and ABC’s Sunday talk shows to explain his opposition to the budget reconciliation bill at the center of President Biden’s legislative agenda.
The West Virginia senator came with plenty of rationalizations. He expressed concern about inflation and the national debt. (“Do we have the urgency to spend another $3.5 trillion right now?” he asked on CNN.)...
If Kyrsten Sinema was the first Democrat to breach the gates of the Biden administration’s domestic agenda, Joe Manchin kicked the door wide open and showed others the way.
Just before a weary nation paused for the holiday weekend, the West Virginia Democrat took a hatchet to the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending package, which has become the crown jewel on the left’s legislative wish list.
In a guest Wall Street Journal column, Manchin accurately accused the bill of having, "no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises" and said "ignoring...
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