The Manchin proviso

The Democrats seek to enact a multitrillion dollar break-the-bank spendingpalooza and other destructive measures in a “reconciliation” bill on party line votes — despite their incredibly narrow majorities in both the House and the Senate. Do we need to worry that they will will pull it off? Paul noted some of the spanners in the works here yesterday.

It is misguided to focus on any one of the spanners. When the Democrats get behind closed doors, they let their hair hang down, but we don’t know what goes on. We can guess it isn’t pretty. Unlike the scenario of the Charlie Rich song, it doesn’t involve a lot of lovin’.

Joe Manchin has been among the most talkative figures among the protagonists and essential players. Yesterday he released a statement ruling out “trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces.” That would seem to rule out a Yes. Manchin hasn’t uttered an encouraging word.

When you’re relying on Senator Manchin to hold to a position that belies the party line, you’re in a bad spot. If words mean anything, which I doubt, the bill should be down for the count.

UPDATE: Politico reports: “Joe Manchin proposed a deal to Senate Majority Chuck Schumer this summer to limit the total cost of Democrats’ sweeping spending bill to $1.5 trillion, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by POLITICO.” So “1.5 trillion” is not “trillions.” As I was saying, we’re in a bad spot.

“Senator Manchin does not guarantee that he will vote for the final reconciliation legislation if it exceeds the conditions outlined in this agreement,” the document states in bold text.

Speaking of provisos, one of Manchin’s terms is that “the Federal Reserve ends quantitative easing,” which should be some time around the twelfth of Never.

On the other hand, “Senator Manchin does not guarantee that he will vote for the final reconciliation legislation if it exceeds the conditions outlined in this agreement,” the agreement states in bold text.

Politico quotes Schumer and deciphers his handwritten scrawl on the document:

Both Manchin and Schumer signed the document. Schumer appears to have written a note saying that he “will try to change Joe on some of these.”

“Leader Schumer never agreed to any of the conditions Sen. Manchin laid out; he merely acknowledged where Sen. Manchin was on the subject at the time,” said a spokesperson for Schumer. “Sen. Manchin did not rule out voting for a reconciliation bill that exceeded the ideas he outlined, and Leader Schumer made clear that he would work to convince Sen. Manchin to support a final reconciliation bill — as he has doing been for weeks.”

Further explication is beyond my poor powers.

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