Manchin flexes muscles in the Senate 50-50 –

Manchin flexes muscles in the Senate 50-50

Centrist Sen. Joe manchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinHoyer: House to vote on COVID-19 relief bill Friday Haaland courts moderate during tense Senate confirmation hearing Democrats in dispute over minimum wage MORE (DW.Va.) is the largest vote in the evenly divided Senate, and its power could spark protracted intraparty squabbles among Democrats.

Concerned about simmering friction, Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck Schumer Congress Holds Candlelight Vigil for American Lives Lost to COVID-19 12:30 PM Report from The Hill – Presented by Facebook – Lawmakers Investigate Jan.6 Security Breaches Senate Confirms Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador MORE (DN.Y.) on Tuesday strongly urged his Democratic group to rally around a pending $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 aid package.

Manchin seems to have derailed President BidenJoe BidenHoyer: House To Vote On COVID-19 Relief Bill On Friday Pence Meets With Senior GOP Study Committee Members Powell Rejects GOP Inflation Fears MOREnominated to head the White House budget office, Neera tandenNeera TandenHaaland Courts Moderate During Tense Senate Confirmation Hearing On Money: Schumer Urges Democrats To Stand Together On Bill .9T | Collins Discards Republican Party Support for Biden’s Aid Plan | Powell fights inflation fears Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on the .9T bill MORE, announcing last week that he would vote against him due to the harsh criticism he made on Twitter against his colleagues in the Senate. In a 50-50 Senate, Tanden now needs the endorsement of at least one Republican, and perhaps more, which seems unlikely.

Manchin has jeopardized Biden’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour by announcing this month that he opposes such an increase. Instead, he suggested setting it at $ 11 an hour and indexing it to inflation.

When asked about Manchin’s impact on the Democratic agenda, Schumer told reporters on Tuesday that he asked his colleagues to work together.

“I kicked off our entire caucus today and said we need to pass this bill. The American people, the American public demands it, ”Schumer said after placing a call with Democratic senators.

Schumer said that not all Democratic senators will be completely satisfied with the COVID-19 relief bill, but cautioned that the party must pass it. In all likelihood, every Democrat in the upper house will have to back the measure to get it to the president’s desk.

“Job number one is to pass the law. Pass the bill that we owe. And I am confident that we will, ”added Schumer.

Manchin said Monday he would try to amend Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion relief proposal, which the House is scheduled to pass this week, to set the federal minimum wage at $ 11 an hour.

“Eleven dollars is the right place to be,” he said. “I would amend it to $ 11.” He also added that his plan is to index the salary floor to inflation.

The Senate MP is also expected to rule soon on whether Democrats can include the minimum wage in their budget reconciliation bill. Biden has indicated that he doubts she will allow it, but progressives disagree.

Yet passing Biden’s pending $ 1.9 trillion aid package is just the beginning of the challenges facing Schumer, Manchin, and the rest of the Democratic group.

“I have spoken to Harry reidHarry Mason Reid The Las Vegas airport will change its name after former Senator Harry Reid Sanders replaced top employees with campaign aides, Collins recreates his role as martyr, but did Biden learn his lesson? PLUS about him and said [Manchin] It was always a headache, ”said Ross K. Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University who served as a member in the office of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“[Manchin is] in an awkward position. He’s a Democrat from a state that supported Trump more than any other state, ”Baker added, noting that the former President TrumpDonald Trump Romney: ‘Pretty Sure’ Trump Would Win GOP Nomination In 2024 Should He Run For President Pence Huddles With Senior GOP Study Committee Members Trump Says ‘Without A doubt’ Tiger Woods Will Return After Crash MORE led West Virginia with 68 percent in 2016 and 69 percent in 2020. In 2020, Trump got a higher percentage of the vote in Wyoming alone: ​​70 percent.

The 73-year-old senator cannot be reelected until 2024. He won his last election contest by 3 points, a race that he later said “took its toll.”

Manchin’s support is far from certain if Democrats try to pass Biden’s “Build Back Better” economic recovery and work plan.

Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Bernie sandersBernie Sanders Sanders has a right target, a wrong target in the fight to help low-wage workers Democrats in the showdown over the minimum wage Sanders votes against Biden USDA nominee Vilsack MORE (I-Vt.), Which is pushing hard for a $ 15 an hour wage bill, said they are already discussing the use of special budget rules to pass a massive economic stimulus package with a simple majority of votes after the $ 1.9 billion “American Rescue Plan” becomes law.

Manchin said Tuesday that Democratic leaders should move an infrastructure and jobs bill, which can cost up to $ 3 trillion, through a regular order, which means working with Republicans rather than using another budget reconciliation package. to avoid fellow Republicans.

“I want to make sure we get back to regular order. Should go through the committee[s]. These are important things that need to be done, these are policy changes, and I would like to use the committee process and if anyone understands it better than Joe Biden, I don’t know who it would be, “he said. “We have to get back to normal order.”

When asked if he had reservations about using special budget rules to approve a second package, he said: “Regular order. Let’s try. Let’s try to see if the place works first. ”

Manchin, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, also raised questions this week about another of Biden’s nominees, Rep. Deb haalandDeb Haaland Haaland Courts Moderate During Tense Senate Confirmation Hearing NIGHT ENERGY: Haaland Courts Moderate During Tense Confirmation Hearing | Republican Party’s Westerman Seeks to Confront Democrats on Climate Change | White House Urges Passage of House Public Lands Package Schumer Urges Democrats to Stand Together on Bill .9T MORE (DN.M.). His spokesman said the senator is undecided about Haaland, who would be the first Native American to head the Department of the Interior or serve in the Cabinet.

That provoked a severe reprimand from the Liberal representative. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez Criticizes Opening of Children’s Migrant Center Under Biden Udalls: Haaland Criticism Motivated ‘By More Than His Record’ Ocasio-Cortez Targets Manchin For Haaland Confirmation MORE (DN.Y.), who juxtaposed Manchin’s indecision about Haaland with his support for Trump’s nomination of Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard Sessions Udalls: Haaland Criticism Motivated ‘By More Than His Record’ Ocasio-Cortez Targets Manchin For Haaland Confirmation LIVE COVERAGE: Senate Ready To Consider Garland For AG MORE in 2017 to head the Department of Justice.

Manchin voted to confirm it. The sessions then focused on immigrant children for large-scale human rights abuses with family separation. However, is the first native woman to be a cabinet secretary where Manchin finds unease? Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Manchin’s role as the 50th and hardest-to-cast vote in the Democratic caucus has raised his profile. Experts have touted him as a new power broker in the Senate and the most powerful member of the evenly divided upper house.

WDTV in Bridgeport, West Virginia, called Manchin the “most powerful senator” last month, while Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek hailed him as a “kingmaker” and The Washington Post wrote that he is “the key to the ambitious Biden’s Climate Agenda “.

Manchin maintained a relatively low profile during the first weeks of the new Democratic majority in the Senate, sticking with his leadership in key votes on the budget resolution, Biden’s major cabinet elections and Trump’s second impeachment trial.

But it is beginning to assert itself more strongly as it becomes clear that it will be difficult to muster Republican support on certain issues.

On Tuesday, the West Virginia senator played down rumors that he would become a kingmaker or power broker.

“No, there is nothing about powerbroker. I denounce it completely, ”he said.

“I will tell you about power. I’ve seen people who have it abuse it. I’ve seen people looking to ruin themselves, ”he said.

But he also said that he “has seen people who took a moment and tried to make a change and a difference,” adding that he hopes to be a legislator who works across party lines to make a difference.

Manchin joked that the key facts to know about him are “I have three children and 10 grandchildren.”


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