Joe Biden was almost giddy when he spoke to America about free community college, free childcare for working parents, and the biggest carrot of them all, paid family leave, or, a vacation at government expense. Who wouldn’t want that? But Biden failed to realize how these niceties cost money that America doesn’t have. We’re already in debt up to our eyeballs.
Still, liberals devoured every word Biden said. However, another thing Biden was neglectful of realizing is how not all Democrats are pie-in-the-sky liberals. Some of them lean more moderately toward what makes sense and what doesn’t. This minority of Democrats doesn’t vote in favor of one party or the other. They do what they feel is right with no regrets concerning who it might offend.
Enter West Virginia’s one and only Joe Manchin. Here’s a guy who grew up around coal mines and knows the meaning of a hard day’s work. Nobody rides for free. Manchin is also astute enough to know that this nation’s budget can’t handle what Biden wants, and he doesn’t care if he takes the president down trying to stop the foolishness.
Biden’s proposed budget has been whittled down to nearly half of what it originally called for. The first thing to go was tuition-free college followed by truckloads of cash to fight climate change. The family paid leave thing hitting the chopping block doesn’t leave Biden with much left to offer his fans who are dropping like flies.
It should go without saying that liberal Dems are pissed as hell at Manchin. One Senator said, “People are pissed he wants to take out paid family leave.” But Manchin said the spending bill is huge enough without it. “To expand social programs when you have trust funds that aren’t solvent – they’re going insolvent. I can’t explain that. It doesn’t make sense to me,” Manchin said.
Manchin isn’t dangling out there by himself though. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona isn’t about to let the Biden administration bankrupt the country and she and Manchin have been strong allies who respectively hold their share’s of political clout.
Of course, Bernie Sanders had to wake up long enough to point his crooked finger. “The problem is with members here who, although they are very few in number, they are a significant minority, think that they have a right to determine what the rest of the Congress should be doing,” he said. “The minority should not be dictating to the majority.”
To end the confusion, in a nutshell, here is why both Manchin’s and Sinema’s votes are so important. Since the chamber is split 50-50 between the right and the left, their two votes could make or break the bill in its entirety. Even in the case of a tie, the left wins, but unless their two rogue members hop on board, the spending bill will continue to be cut, and Biden will lose what little credibility remains.
It appears that the next item in the bill to fall under scrutiny are vision, dental, and hearing benefits for Medicare recipients. As Democrats continue to concede to Manchin and Sinema, this will more than likely get killed.
Previous concessions other than those already mentioned have included stopping the Democrats from rolling back Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts and a $150 billion plan to move away from carbon fuels.
By the time Manchin and Sinema finally agree to allow the passage of the spending bill, it’ll pretty much be a blank piece of paper.
2024 can’t get here soon enough.