Republicans forced votes on everything from cow farts (really) to critical race theory, abortion, immigration, taxes, and defense spending throughout the day and night. (If you want to watch all 45 amendments, C-SPAN is there for you.)
That work done, Sen. Joe Manchin, promptly became the turd in the punchbowl of Biden’s aspirations Wednesday morning, with a statement outlining his concerns. His “serious” concerns over the “grave consequences” for the future of spending that much money. Manchin apparently hasn’t had time to read the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report about the grave consequences we’re already living with due to not spending trillions of dollars to avoid climate change.
Manchin’s deficit peacock shrieks are unwittingly and darkly ironic. He decries the “negative effects on our children and grandchildren” of adding to the national debt, ignoring the fact that our children and grandchildren are facing a world where basic existence is under threat. He says the economy, based on absolutely no concrete evidence, is “on the verge of overheating.” How rich is that? No, inflation is not the “overheating” thing to worry about right now.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed little concern for Manchin’s posturing Wednesday morning. Asked if he would cut the bill down per Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s posturing, he said, “We are going to all come together…every part of Biden’s proposal will be there in a big robust way.”
Then he addressed Manchin more directly: “Some are worried about inflation. The way you deal with that, according to economists, is to make sure we pay for it. We intend to pay for it.”
Schumer has the large majority of the House Democrats and 49 other votes (including VP Kamala Harris) to back him up. House progressives—upward of 90 of them—have committed to voting down the bipartisan Senate bill if the reconciliation budget they receive doesn’t meet the country’s climate and social infrastructure needs.
That means all of Manchin’s and Sinema’s “glory” of helping Republicans engineer a stripped-down hard infrastructure bill would dissipate quickly.
Now that the House matters again, Manchin and Sinema aren’t the only Democrats who have leverage.