Joe Manchin

The Manchin Proviso

Featured image Mother Jones magazine, which is quite left but actually serious about doing good reporting, has a story out today that has everyone buzzing—Joe Manchin is thinking about leaving the Democratic caucus in the Senate, and becoming an independent. I expect this means he would caucus with Republicans, because otherwise he’d likely have to surrender his chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. From MJ: In recent days, Sen. »

A Sanders-Manchin stalemate?

Featured image Back in 2009-10, when the Democrats controlled 59-60 Senate seats, they were pleased as punch to pass a $1 trillion stimulus package and the “camel” known as Obamacare. Sure, some Dems wished for even more stimulus money and the “horse” of single-payer health insurance. But there was no serious resistance to settling for less and few public complaints about not getting more. Twelve years later, with the Dems controllingly only »

Reading Schumer (and McConnell)

Featured image Last Thursday evening Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rounded up the Republican support necessary to raise the debt limit until December. Senator McConnell’s assistance did not earn any gratitude from Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Schumer took to the Senate floor to excoriate Senate Republicans for creating a “risky drama.” What had been avoided, Schumer said, was “a first-ever, Republican-manufactured default on the national debt.” “Republicans played a dangerous and »

Let’s Go, Brandon!

Featured image Joe Biden’s catastrophic slide in the polls has robbed him of the persuasive power that more successful presidents enjoy. We see this in the way the deep split in the Democratic Party is playing out: Biden wants to tip the scales toward the far left, but he lacks the ability to do so. Thus he casually lets it be known that Kyrsten Sinema isn’t returning his phone calls: While it »

Joe Biden, reconciliation, and “the third rail”

Featured image When conservatives attack the Democrats’ attempt to pass an enormous reconciliation package, we focus on the cost and the left-wing agenda items the Dems are imposing, some of which have little to do with what is properly the subject of budget reconciliation. These are valid attacks and they resonate not just with strong conservatives, but also with those on the center-right. When Joe Manchin criticizes the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, »

Stalking Sinema: The Biden variations

Featured image Following remarks on raising the debt ceiling yesterday — remarks whose gist was that Republicans are bad — President Biden took a few questions from the press (White House transcript here). Republicans are guilty of using “procedural tricks” and “elaborate procedural schemes” that call for numerous votes. It’s “a Republican stunt”! Republicans are “playing Russian roulette with the U.S. economy.” Bad! The stalking of Senator Sinema in the ladies’ room »

Whom do you trust?

Featured image Groucho Marx was a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan. He often played recordings of their comic operettas at home to the annoyance of his wife. One day Groucho said to her, “did you know that Gilbert couldn’t stand Sullivan and Sullivan couldn’t stand Gilbert?” The long-suffering woman replied, “it doesn’t surprise me, I can’t stand either one of them.” That line came back to me when I read the »

Keep nope alive

Featured image No sooner had I posted “The Manchin proviso” yesterday morning than Politico sent out notice that it had posted the Manchin/Schumer memo dated July 28, 2021. I have uploaded the memo to Scribd and embedded it at the bottom of this post. It is a weird document that is beyond my poor powers to explicate. Signed by Senator Manchin and Majority Leader Schumer, the memo purports to set forth Manchin’s »

The Manchin proviso

Featured image 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 »

Pelosi reportedly will postpone infrastructure vote

Featured image The Hill reports that Nancy Pelosi is poised to postpone the vote on infrastructure legislation that was scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday). Apparently, Pelosi doesn’t have the votes to pass the $1 trillion bill. It seems that fewer than a dozen House Republicans will vote for it. That’s not enough to overcome defections from hardcore leftist Democrats. I’m surprised by this development. I thought that when push came to shove, only »

Dems scramble to keep their spending dreams alive

Featured image There are lots of moving parts to the Democrats’ struggle to spend trillions of dollars via bipartisan infrastructure legislation and Democrat-only-backed reconciliation. The debt ceiling has now been thrown into the mix for good measure. This piece in the Washington Post does a good job describing the Democrats quandary. It simplifies things considerably if one starts from the reality we have emphasized throughout — Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema »

Manchin’s red line

Featured image Joe Manchin reportedly has told the White House that he won’t support a reconciliation spending bill that exceeds $1.5 trillion. He might not even support one that exceeds $1 trillion, according to the same report. Without Manchin’s support, there can be no reconciliation package. Add $1.5 trillion to the roughly $1 trillion in the bipartisan infrastructure, and the price tag for Republicans losing the Senate comes to around $2.5 trillion. »

Manchin calls time out on reconciliation

Featured image Sen. Joe Manchin has thrown a monkey wrench into Democrats’ plan to pass, via reconciliation, a $3.5 trillion spending package on top of the trillion dollar (or so) bipartisan “infrastructure” bill. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed called “Why I Won’t Support Spending Another $3.5 Trillion,” Manchin states: The nation faces an unprecedented array of challenges and will inevitably encounter additional crises in the future. Yet some in Congress have »

Senate advances reconciliation “blueprint” but Manchin balks at price tag

Featured image By a count of 50-49, the Senate has voted to proceed with formulating a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. Joe Manchin provided the vote that enabled this. Almost immediately thereafter, however, Manchin said he is unlikely to support such a package once it is presented. Manchin explained that he has “serious concerns about the grave consequences facing West Virginians and every American family if Congress decides to spend another $3.5 »

How much difference is there between “leftist” Dems and the “establishment”?

Featured image James Hohmann of the Washington Post argues that the defeat of Nina Turner in that Ohio congressional race shows that Joe Biden “doesn’t need to keep caving to the left.” Hohmann assumes that when Biden adopts leftist positions he’s caving, rather than doing what he wants. I questioned that assumption in my report on the Ohio race. I wondered how much difference really exists between the Democratic left and the »

Reconcile this

Featured image Politico Playbook cheers on the Democrats as it lets us know what “the deal” is. I take it from the Playbook report here this morning that it’s not a good deal. It’s a bad deal (emphases and links omitted in excerpt below): — Reconciliation. Despite Biden’s statement, the enormous reconciliation bill that Democrats are drafting will hang over the process all summer and remain a handy excuse [sic (and sickening)] »

Some questions about the deal

Featured image Joe Biden blundered bigtime when he said he won’t sign the compromise infrastructure bill unless Democrats in Congress first pass his social spending priorities through reconciliation. As I noted at the time, Biden’s statement opened the door for Republicans who had announced their support for the compromise bill to walk away from that commitment, since there is no compromise when the Democrats take some of what they want through agreement »