Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake last night about what’s going on in the Senate. Basically he’s digging in. Not only no movement on the filibuster – but he seems to be saying no infrastructure bill via reconciliation either. Just to drop this out of Senate jargon, that means nothing on infrastructure that Republicans don’t approve. For clarity, Republicans seem locked into an infrastructure bill of around $200 billion – just over 1/10 the size Biden originally proposed. And they want to fund that by clawing back COVID relief money.
I’ve grown kind of tired of parsing Manchin’s latest statements. Yes, he’ll probably say something like this until he says something different. He says his goal is to change how the Senate operates. But his way of doing that is to place literally all of the onus on Democrats. Meanwhile we can see things going the way of 2009 and 2010 solely because he’s forcing things there.
I have no idea what negotiations or discussions are going on in the background. The Democrats plan to force filibusters on all their big legislative agenda items later this month. This is supposed put the onus Manchin and Sen. Sinema to find their bipartisan Republicans.
I really think that Biden will have no choice but to put real infrastructure bill up for a vote and simply dare Manchin to vote it down.