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No. of Recommendations: 19
Every single time Biden indicates that something in his agenda is negotiable, Manchin makes another demand. Now he's attacking the child credit. As an elected official of one of the poorest states in the country, one would think he would like to hep his constituants. I guess not.

A few months ago, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I knew that he had a thin line to walk being a Democrat in West Virginia.

I also figured he was going to do what every politician does and use his power while he had it to get some extra goodies for himself and his state.

But, now it seems that re-election protection and pork are not his primary motivation. He appears to just want to be a point of sale.

I think to put away the carrot and get out the stick. If I were Schumer, I would tell him that if he doesn't get on board by the 31st, he will not be a committee chair on the 1st.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
"I think to put away the carrot and get out the stick. If I were Schumer, I would tell him that if he doesn't get on board by the 31st, he will not be a committee chair on the 1st."

I hope that he does this as Manchin may well then decide to become a Republican and this would then make the GOP the Majority party in the Senate.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Every single time Biden indicates that something in his agenda is negotiable, Manchin makes another demand. Now he's attacking the child credit.

This is not a new thing. He's been making that demand since at least July.

https://newrepublic.com/article/163846/means-testing-manchin...
https://static.politico.com/1e/ef/159cabd547868585f9b1a8f063...

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I like Democracy.

I respect any single Senators vote.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
He's been making that demand since at least July.

July is pretty recent. But it doesn't invalidate my point. This has nothing to do with protecting the coal industry in West VA. So why is he doing it?
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No. of Recommendations: 0
He only cares about the "constituents" in his coal company owning and running family and his big oil donors..

He could care less about the wellbeing and future of his state and the middle class and working poor families in it.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
So why is he doing it?

Because he thinks it's the right thing to do. He doesn't like that the child tax credit was being paid out to people who make a lot of money - people that are rich by West Virginia standards:

A particular target of Manchin’s frustration has been the child tax credit, which begins phasing out at a relatively high threshold, such that two-earner households making $400,000 still receive $2,000 per child.

“I have got people that are making combined 200 and 300 and more, up to 400 [thousand], saying they’re getting checks,” Manchin complained about the child tax credit earlier this month.


https://newrepublic.com/article/163846/means-testing-manchin...

A fair number of his constituents probably also don't like the idea that people who are making a lot of money might be eligible to get checks from the government when they don't need the money.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Because he thinks it's the right thing to do.

Well, he's wrong. And I'm tired of him not being willing to give an inch.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Well, he's wrong. And I'm tired of him not being willing to give an inch.

He's the most conservative Democrat, and from one of the deepest Red states in the country. There's a good chance that his preferred dollar amount for this reconciliation bill would be zero - that he regards the two trillion that's already gone out the door from the American Rescue Plan as being even more than what the moment requires. In terms of the policy that he and his constituents support, landing on a spending bill that is merely enormous at $1.5 trillion instead of transformational is already giving everything that he's willing to give.

I understand the frustration of those who think that the BBB is good policy, especially progressives. But some of this is ridiculous. It's been obvious since the election that the legislative agenda would have to be something that the more conservative members of the party in the Senate would need to swallow just to get to 50 votes. These are Democrats who fundamentally reject what the progressive left thinks government should look like - and while they're willing to compromise on specific programs to benefit poor and working class folks, they're still very much the 'hand up not a hand out' type of Democrats who think that government programs should be limited to safety nets, not universal benefit programs.

Even if the reconciliation bill ends up at $1.5 trillion, he's going to have to go back and face his very conservative electorate having voted for about $4.6 trillion (American Rescue Plan plus Infrastructure plus BBB), all within the first calendar year of this Congress. That's a gob-smacking amount of money. To progressives, who apparently can characterize that much money as 'crumbs,' this may seem like he's not giving an inch - but a fair number of his voters are going to end up wondering how he could possibly have given up so much.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
There's a good chance that his preferred dollar amount for this reconciliation bill would be zero

And that's what he intends to deliver. Not to himself, of course. He's got some under the table deal in the works to help himself and his friends, but the state of West Virginia and the rest of the country be damned.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
And that's what he intends to deliver.

Oh, I doubt that very much.

Sure, there's a decent chance we may end up with the BBB collapsing - and perhaps taking the BIF with it. It's an enormously difficult juggling act to try and pass a President's entire economic policy in a single bill in the best of circumstances. It was always a huge gamble to shove everything into one big bill, rather than make some of the hard choices up front. That gamble might end up failing.

But if Manchin truly intended the bill to die, he would simply have come out with some of these positions publicly very early on - which would have spooked the marginal House Democrats into backing out of the process. No one wants to make painful trade-offs for a bill that's going to die, after all. By keeping his positions and negotiations mostly between himself and leadership, rather than open to the public, Manchin deliberately chose to create an environment where success was more likely.

There's probably some stuff in the BBB that Manchin would want. He does represent a poor state, after all. His entire strategy is far more consistent with a good faith effort to land on a smaller (though still huge) social spending bill that is far more focused on safety net spending on the truly poor, rather than creating more universal benefits.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 1
You can doubt it, but his actions show otherwise. He's trying to kill this bill. And he's probably going to succeed.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
You can doubt it, but his actions show otherwise. He's trying to kill this bill. And he's probably going to succeed.

Again, his actions show that he's trying to allow a bill to get passed. Not a $3.5 trillion bill, of course. But his actions are entirely consistent with wanting to get a smaller, tighter bill passed, rather than killing the process altogether.

It is absolutely possible that the progressive caucus will not, or cannot, agree to pass a smaller bill. But that will end up being because there just wasn't a proposal that could be mutually agreed to - that there just was never any common ground between the parties on such an expansive topic. Not because any of the groups were deliberately trying to kill the bill.

Again, if Manchin (or Sinema) had really wanted to kill the BBB bill, the easiest and best way would have been to announce publicly all these positions as red lines and blow up the negotiation process from the start.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 0
You are a more trusting soul than I.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt when this all started. But he has shown himself to be intransigent over anything.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
You are a more trusting soul than I.

Oh, no. I'm quite cynical about all of this. I don't believe that Manchin wants to have some type of deal because I'm trusting. I believe that he was willing to negotiate in good faith because he acted in a way that is consistent with him be willing to agree to a deal if there's one to be had.

I don't believe he is willing to sign off on a 'big' bill - whether the $6 trillion bill that progressives maintain was their initial offer or the $3.5 trillion that was the first concrete proposal. That's always been a hard, "no." That, combined with a few red-line dealbreakers (the Hyde Amendment, aggressive 'stick' climate change proposals), were always off the table for him. But he's communicated that to leadership early on, and has acted as though he's willing to negotiate within the areas that might be common ground.

Sometimes there just isn't common ground, even within a party.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 11
I am more in line with albaby on this one.

In fact, think it’s the progressive’s who are being obstinate and unrealistic in this particular instance. It drives me crazy when they complain it’s unfair when 48 people want $3.5 trillion and 2 want $1+ trillion. I’d tell them exactly what I told my kids when they were 5 years old and complained about how life was unfair; who told you life was fair? It isn’t.

Would I vote to spend more than $1 trillion over 10 years that’s mostly paid for? Sure, there a lot of stuff we need, especially environmental initiatives.

But there’s this nasty thing out there and it’s called reality. And the reality is you need Manchin and Sinema (honestly, Sinema worries me more than Manchin does because I don’t understand her). And if $1+ trillion is all you can get, GRAB IT!! We’re one heart attack away from total failure. Complaining about it and attacking them is a waste of time AND counter productive.

So you can have a tantrum and not pass anything and ensure the Dems lose the House and Senate or take the two $1+ trillion bills (which Biden would probably say is a big something deal) and spend your time bragging about it (because it is a big deal), nominating progressive judges, protecting voter rights, and getting more progressives elected (if you can).

Demonstrating you can actually accomplish something goes a long way with voters. Take action and you can live to fight another day. Whine and procrastinate and you lose.

And another thing I told my kids when they whined because we wouldn’t give them everything they wanted, GROW UP.

AW
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No. of Recommendations: 0
If everyone else agrees to 1 trillion, I expect that Manchin will find some other reason to oppose it.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
If everyone else agrees to 1 trillion, I expect that Manchin will find some other reason to oppose it.

Why? I mean, he voted for the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. He voted for the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Plan. And he's made public statements in support of the BBB.

There's clearly things that he does not want to be in the bill. There's also aspects of some of the proposals that he cares about that aren't limited to the topline number (like means-testing). But there's zero reason to suspect that he'd torpedo a $1 trillion spending bill in line with those priorities just to pwn the libs and make Ro Khanna sad.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Like I said, you are more trusting than I.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I am more in line with albaby on this one.

Me, too. I'd much rather get a $1 trillion* bill than nothing, and maybe hold on to the Senate and probably increase the House rather than lose both. As you say, live to fight another day.

Pete

*call me old-fashioned, but a trillion still seems like a lot of money to me
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I'd much rather get a $1 trillion* bill than nothing, and maybe hold on to the Senate and probably increase the House rather than lose both.

Me too, obviously. But to be fair, I also kind of understand where the progressive caucus is coming from. Because I think there's almost no chance that the Democrats hold the House, regardless of whether they pass these bills or not. It certainly helps if they have some accomplishments to point to. But it probably won't turn the tide.

So there's some real eschatological thinking going on out there - the belief that this is the Last Democratic Congress for a generation. So they have to go big, and blow it out swinging for the fences, because this is the last chance. There's no 'live to fight another day' - this is it, the last chance we'll see before 2040 to pass anything at all.

Partially that's motivated by some belief in GOP election shenanigans - both the completely legal and the feared nefarious plots. But I think it's also motivated by a little self-awareness among progressives that their platform isn't built for a political system that provides a tilt to rural small-population states in our current society. Because of the way that partisan ideology matches up with geographic distribution, with progressive ideology being favored by urban residents and conservative ideology by more rural folks, the Democrats will never be able to command an governing majority in the Senate and possibly the House if it is a very progressive party. And the progressives have no intention of ever letting the Democratic party backslide toward centrism again.

Albaby
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No. of Recommendations: 4
From the deck of his yacht, he is using the power he has to make things better for himself.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
This has nothing to do with protecting the coal industry in West VA. So why is he doing it?

Any good negotiator demands things he can comfortably concede later in exchange for something from his/her counterpart. He’ll keep the coal.

I’m more concerned about the clown from Arizona who may think “no” is a negotiating position.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
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