The bad numbers on inflation are landing at a terrible time for Dems, who got hit hard last week in the off-year election races, then they panicked and struck an agreement to pass bipartisan infrastructure laws.
Suddenly, the prospect of doing nothing looked much worse than doing something. But as they passed their bipartisan framework, progressives allowed their legislative hostage to go. For this, they got promises from moderate Democrats that the White House will also pass the lower chamber’s more extreme build back better liberal spending bill.
But one reason why liberals wanted both of these bills connected together is their distrust of the Senate – and two senators especially. Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, who helped negotiate the infrastructure program along with GOP members.
Now, after yesterday’s terrible economic statistics were published, Manchin tweeted this shell-shocker, touching off rumors about his plan to stop Biden’s financial plans all together:
By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not “transitory” and is instead getting worse. From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 10, 2021
Might he be now getting serious about his potential “strategic pause” idea, which would force a controversial agenda item into a very heated election year that is already scaring Democrats to death.
That would not necessarily be the end, but it would boost the chances that Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda gets watered down more, or is ruined altogether. This Axios piece might be a trial balloon or table-setter on Manchin’s plans:
“Red-hot inflation data seems to support the instinct of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin (W.Va.) to punt Biden’s BBB agenda until next year — possibly killing a fast deal on the $1.75 trillion program, people familiar with the matter report to Axios. The data sets the Biden team scrambling. Slowing down their work on the huge tax-and-spending plan is going against the fervent desire of the White House and progressives. With a limited amount of legislative days left, Senator Manchin is focusing on the topics that must be addressed. They include raising the debt ceiling, funding the government, and passing the National Defense Authorization Act. Manchin, like moderates, also wants a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the real costs of ever Biden program, as well as the tax proposals to support them…Progressives have worried that after moderates got their $1.2 trillion bill, they would find excuses not to move forward on the more liberal budget reconciliation package.”
Author: Steven Sinclaire