The Senator elected from from West Virginia is now dictating what America what policy will be?…
It seems he’s running things in the Senate and Congress?
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), America’s ultimate swing voter, told me on “Axios on HBO” that he’ll insist Republicans have more of a voice on President Biden’s next big package than they did on the COVID stimulus.
The big picture: Manchin said he’ll push for tax hikes to pay for Biden’s upcoming infrastructure and climate proposal, and will use his Energy Committee chairmanship to force the GOP to confront climate reality.
Why it matters: My conversation yielded the most extensive preview yet of how Manchin — a Democrat from a Trump state, in a 50-50 Senate, who relishes standing up to a Democratic White House — will use his singular power.
- Manchin, 73, said Biden expects, and understands, the pushback: “He’s the first president we’ve had to really, really understand the workings of the Senate since LBJ.”
Manchin said that with just a few concessions, it would have been possible to get some Republicans on the COVID relief package that passed the Senate this weekend on a party-line vote. And he said he’ll block Biden’s next big package — $2 trillion to $4 trillion for climate and infrastructure — if Republicans aren’t included.
- “I’m not going to do it through reconciliation,” which requires only a simple majority, like the COVID stimulus, Manchin said. “I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying.”
- Asked if he believes it’s possible to get 10 Republicans on the infrastructure package, which could yield the 60 votes needed under normal Senate rules, Manchin said: “I sure do.”
Manchin said the infrastructure bill can be big — as much as $4 trillion — as long as it’s paid for with tax increases. He said he’ll start his bargaining by requiring the package be 100% paid for….
Manchin is lucky Trump isn’t his party leader….
Trump would beat him down so much he’d be crying in a corner….
Biden and Democrats ARE gonna have to figure this one out….
If Manchin wags the tail of everyone?
He might as well be President….
image…Screen grab…Axios on HBO