Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly told Joe Biden and other Democrats last night that he’s going to do more to hit a pause on the monstrosity that is the $3.5 trillion spending bill.
Manchin, who has been telling them for months that it’s too much and they have to get things in line, finally just had enough and said that he wouldn’t support that much and that he might only support as “little” as $1 trillion. Now that’s still a huge amount, with who knows what attached to it, but still, it’s a move that’s likely to dash a lot of the Democrats’ agenda items, if that’s all they can have.
Manchin also indicated that he had policy issues with some of the items, including the $400 billion to be given to home caregivers. Hey, aren’t you caring enough, Joe? Don’t you believe in handing out free money? Apparently not. He also wants “means testing” on some of the other freebies which other Democrats are not going to like.
“Hit the pause button,” Manchin said last week at an event hosted by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “Let’s sit back. Let’s see what happens. We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do.”
The House voted last month 220-212 on the budget blueprint. Biden called the vote a “step closer to truly investing in the American people.”
Sources told Axios that “at most” Manchin is willing to support up to $1.5 trillion in the package.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) disagreed and has said she wasn’t willing to cut back anything or hit the pause button. So she just might lose everything because she’s obstinate, if she keeps this up.
Joe Biden was apparently convinced that Manchin was going to cave. He told reporters yesterday that Manchin “has always been there.” That’s good news, because Joe Biden has been wrong about everything and this new report might have just put a crimp in Biden’s plans.
Again, while it’s Manchin taking the brunt of the hit from liberals pushing this pause/limitation, there are other Democrats like Sinema and some of the moderates behind him.
So either Biden and Pelosi have to trim their ambitions or Biden may get handed yet another loss, because it doesn’t sound like Manchin is in any rush to help him in this regard. Meanwhile, Republicans are rightly saying Biden and everyone else should be concentrating on Afghanistan even as Biden and many Democrats are desperately trying to turn the page.