Go Manchin, Joe Manchin

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 12: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., talks with reporters after a vote in the Capitol on Thursday, September 12, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
August 11, 2021 4:52 p.m.

So a few thoughts on Manchin.

We’ve said repeatedly there’s going to be a lot of drama and haggling before this gets settled. Well, see: I was right. Does this change the global picture? I don’t think so.

I think this is Manchin saying, don’t take my vote for granted. I’m still at the front of the table. And I’m going to be in the front of the camera too. I also do think it means that at the end of the day the total package will likely not be $3.5 trillion. But I think it will be pretty close. Something very similar happened with the Covid relief bill. You never get every last thing. But you can get close.

It also means that there’s going to be a lot of haggling and drama over the particulars of the climate package – not only the top line price tag but the precise structure of what’s included. This, I don’t have to tell you, is critical.

We’ve known this.

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One thing it makes crystal clear is that Nancy Pelosi absolutely shouldn’t bring the bipartisan mini-bill to a vote in the House until we have clarity about the reconciliation bill. Complete clarity. A final vote. Luckily, that’s never been in question. Pelosi has never remotely wavered. There’s a small gaggle of flexy ‘moderates’ in the House demanding Pelosi bring the mini-bill to a vote now. Good luck with that, guys. That won’t ever happen.

Everyone’s known the outlines of this intra-party grand bargain for months. Everyone being every Democrat in Congress. This is now entirely a debate, struggle, conversation within the Democratic party. In fact, that’s been the case for months. Both sides have an effective veto over what the other side wants. That’s why those asking for Pelosi to pass the mini-bill now are such a joke. Good luck with that, guys.

There are going to be a lot of ups and downs over the next two or three months. Lots of drama. DC thrives on this kind of drama. But am I worried? Not especially.

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