Republicans should think twice before they place all of their eggs in the Joe Manchin basket.
Yes, he’s effectively killed off Joe Biden’s disastrous “Build Back Better” social spending agenda — or at least for now. But that doesn’t mean he won’t caucus with his own party on measures of greater or equal insidiousness, such as the voting rights bill, which requires a change to the Senate filibuster rule, and would essentially end the democratic process as we know it.
However, on Tuesday, the West Virginia Democrat did reiterate his stance on Build Back Better, telling reporters it’s deader than ever.
Mainstream media propaganda ran wild over the weekend with claims from anonymous sources that Manchin was resuming negotiations on Biden’s $1.9 trillion reconciliation package, but as it turns out, this was merely a fabrication to put more pressure on the centrist Democrat.
“I’m not agreeing to any of this,” Manchin said about changes to the package the media reported. “There’s been no conversations” with the White House.
Manchin reiterated his December position: “I feel as strongly today as I did then.”
In gaggle with several of us, Manchin makes clear he's not on board yet with push to change filibuster rules this month via the nuclear option in order to pass voting legislation.
Also says there have been no talks with the WH on BBB and a lot of work needs to be done still pic.twitter.com/MPvf23feth
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 4, 2022
Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin reportedly acknowledged Biden’s agenda is dead – at least until Senate Democrats attempt to pass legislation to federalize all local elections.
Durbin just told us that BBB is paused until after the senate deals w voting rights. That pushes work on the bbb until the last few weeks of January.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) January 4, 2022
To federalize all local elections, the senate would need at least 60 “yes” votes in a 50/50 split Senate. GOP senators oppose federalizing elections. Therefore Senate Democrats have proposed doing away with the filibuster, which would mean the measure could pass with 50 Senate votes.
But Manchin told reporters Tuesday canceling the filibuster to only federalize elections is a “heavy lift” and is not his “absolute preference.”
“And the reason I say it’s a heavy lift is once you change a rule or you have a carve out, I’ve always said this – anytime there’s a carve out, you eat the whole turkey. There’s nothing left because it comes back and forth,” Manchin explained.
Along with 50 GOP senators, Manchin’s opposition to changing filibuster rules and to the massive $1.9 trillion reconciliation package threatens to upend Biden’s most prized legislative items.
Manchin is okay for now, but his ability to waffle on the Senate filibuster rule should be cause for concern.
Author: Asa McCue