Thursday :: Sep 30, 2021

Manchin Shows His Cards - Finally


by Steve

West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin finally told us yesterday what it will take to get his vote for Democrats to push anything through that body as a unified bloc: Means-testing for any new benefits in the pending reconciliation package, and a Stage-One effort at undoing the 2017 Trump tax cuts under a tax-reform initiative. He indicates he won't support Biden's $3.5T package because it's too much spending following last year's spending, especially amidst signs the economy is steadying.

Progressives in the Congress are angry at this turn of events, and continue to insist that movement on the reconciliation and the $1T infrastructure bills be tied together. This is a recipe for failure, because without Manchin and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema, the Senate can't pass anything under reconciliation to begin with. There is even talk amongst the House Progressive Caucus of voting against the infrastructure bill until acceptable commitments are made towards passage of the reconciliation bill, but the net result of House Progressives voting against the infrastructure bill at this time will be to kill it in this session, thereby dealing a lethal blow to the White House.

Manchin wants a focus on tax reform and a gutting of the 2017 Trump/McConnell tax package for the remainder of 2021, and then a revived reconciliation package that would be clearly paid for through a very public resetting of our national values and priorities. This would allow Democrats to highlight their efforts to reform the tax code to benefit the middle class and Main Street, and force Trump's GOP and McConnell/McCarthy defend the atrocity they passed and larded upon their funder base.

Yes, it would have been nice if Manchin showed these cards months ago, but it's also possible he has now been embarrassed by the GOP's lock-step willingness to send the country into default while he's been telling the caucus to work with these same Republicans. His response to this misjudgment of his is to pivot and signal to McConnell that he's coming after the tax cuts and will no longer acquiesce to the status quo. And let's be honest: he wouldn't be doing this without White House knowledge. You can be sure Biden wants to undo those tax cuts and have this debate about Democratic versus Trump/GOP values.

Why not make McConnell and McCarthy spend the rest of 2021 defending GOP values during a tax reform debate, all ahead of the 2022 midterms, and show the public that Democrats will fund the highly-popular Build Back Better program through that Main Street versus Wall Street tax reform?

Steve :: 9:02 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!