Thomas Gallatin / September 14, 2021

Manchin’s Roadblock to Biden’s $3.5T Spending Bonanza

The West Virginia senator hits the brakes on the Democrats’ massive spending bill.

Strike while the iron is hot. That appears to be the Democrat motto. Or rather, as Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi certainly took such advice to heart when she helped ram through ObamaCare back in 2010. At the time, she ridiculously contended, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Now, Pelosi is leading her slim majority of House Democrats in a repeat of 2010, setting the date of September 27 for a vote on their massive $3.5 trillion climate and entitlement spending package.

Referring to the bill as “human infrastructure,” Democrats would not only levy the biggest tax increase in the last 50 years, they would also bring about a massive government intrusion into Americans’ individual lives.

Playing the “this is an emergency, so we must act now” game, Pelosi is acting to prevent any serious debate to essentially hide the details of the legislation from the public. It’s her classic gambit: Pass it so we can find out what’s in it.

Of course, on the Senate side, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is playing right along with Pelosi. He declared last week that Democrats are “moving full speed ahead” to “get something big done.” Schumer’s comments were aimed not at Republicans, as he knows he’ll get no help from them, but at West Virginia’s Joe Manchin following his call for a “strategic pause” to more government spending bills.

Out of purely political considerations, Manchin may not be too keen on passing a $3.5 trillion spending monstrosity due to the fact that West Virginians are no fans of Joe Biden and what the Democrats are selling. In the 2020 election, Donald Trump bested Biden by nearly 40% in the Mountain State, and Biden’s unpopularity has only increased among West Virginians. What’s more problematic for Manchin is that his own popularity has slid in his home state, as voters increasingly sour on Biden and the Democrats’ hampering of economic recovery.

With his foot-dragging on passing more of the Democrats’ massive spending deals, Manchin wants the current bill limited to $1.5 trillion in new spending. Manchin is essentially calling Biden’s “Build Back Better” assertions what they are: “Build Big Brother Bigger.” Senator Bernie Sanders, the architect of the $3.5 trillion bill, calls Manchin’s opposition “absolutely not acceptable.”

Will Manchin hold the line? What he should do is go all the way and throw a wrench into the rest of the Democrats’ playbook by switching parties and handing majority control back to the Republicans. It would certainly boost his sagging poll numbers.

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