As RedState reported yesterday, Sen. Joe Manchin finally put a number on his proposed “pause” regarding the Democrat reconciliation bill. Far from being on board with $3.5 trillion in inflation-inducing spending, the West Virginia senator only wants to support as little as $1 trillion.
The next question would be how Democrats respond, and as per our usual agreement, the answer is not well.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he and his party are moving “full speed ahead.” And over in the House, the Bernie Sanders wing, partly led by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, let it be known that $3.5 trillion is the “floor” for spending. That's an insane contention, but that's where we are.
Schumer rejects Manchin's 'strategic pause' on $3.5T megabill. "Full speed ahead," he says.
Bernie: “That $3.5 trillion is already the result of a major, major compromise.”https://t.co/wLAKub3KQ4
— Burgess Everett (@burgessev) September 8, 2021
$3.5T is the floor. https://t.co/Kr2zGJllE4
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) September 8, 2021
What's not discussed in either of those responses is how exactly Democrats can move forward without 50 votes? No amount of internet tough-guying will change the actual dynamics in the Senate. Further, while less discussed, there's a margin-busting group of Democrats in the House as well who need to show themselves as moderates prior to 2022 to have any shot at re-election. These are representatives who won House seats in districts Trump won.
Let's also note that Democrats may not even have 49 votes in the Senate as Kyrsten Sinema has remained mum lately after initially saying she also would not support a $3.5 trillion bill. Despite that, calls to “blow up the filibuster” have only accelerated. It's like most on the left don't understand that you can't blow it up without the two Senators who are opposing the thing you want to blow it up to pass.
Unable to get their way, Democrats are now sinking into delusionary fantasies, including requests for blackmail.
If I’m @JoeBiden I tell @Sen_JoeManchin my DOJ may just investigate his daughter & she may just go to prison. Unless of course he takes another look at the $3.5 trillion bill and has a change of heart. It’s what FDR & LBJ would’ve done. And it would’ve worked. https://t.co/F6hH8qWB0Z
— Secular Talk🎙 (@KyleKulinski) September 8, 2021
This is coming from the same party that hyperventilated and impeached a president over supposition regarding a phone call. But they are good with criminal blackmail now as long as it delivers one of their political priorities. Are you starting to see the game yet?
The reality is that there's no path forward for Democrats here that doesn't include massive compromise with Manchin (and likely Sinema). Tlaib saying that $3.5 trillion is the floor might as well be her saying that $0 is the floor because there will be no bill passed if she and her colleagues follow that path. But if they don't follow that path, their far-left base will revolt.
And for Republicans, that all sounds just fine. If Democrats want to play hardball with the very people they need to pass any semblance of their agenda, let them fight. For his part, Manchin has zero incentive to back down.