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Tag: joe manchin build back better

James Carville Vows To Raise Funds For Sinema Primary Challenger

Veteran Democratic strategist James Carville, sounding a lot like Real Time host Bill Maher, has been cautioning Democrats against being too “woke” or moving too far to the left in the 2022 midterms. But the 77-year-old Carville, in a surprising move, is now saying that he will fundraise for a Democratic primary challenger to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in 2024 — specifically, Rep. Ruben Gallego.

In the U.S. Senate, two centrist Democrats who have been frequent obstacles to President Joe Biden’s economic agenda have been Sinema and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Carville, during an interview with Vox published on January 27, was more critical of Sinema than of Manchin.

Carville told Vox, “Understand that Joe Manchin is a Roman Catholic Democrat in a state in which not a single county has voted Democrat (for president) since 2008. I repeat: not a single county has voted Democrat since 2008…. If Manchin runs for reelection, I’ll do everything I can to help him…. Now, the situation with Sinema in Arizona is an entirely different situation.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

'He's A Threat To The Globe': Coal-Loving Joe Manchin Faces Planet-Wide Backlash

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is facing global backlash for his repeated efforts to block legislation that would help combat the climate crisis.

While it's no secret that the centrist lawmaker has become an outcast within the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, he is now facing international criticism from climate advocacy groups around the world, according to The Guardian. Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, recently slammed the lawmaker describing him as "a threat to the globe."

“He’s a villain, he’s a threat to the globe,” said Huq. “If you talk to the average citizen in Dhaka, they will know who Joe Manchin is. The level of knowledge of American politics here is absolutely amazing, we know about the filibuster and the Senate and so on.

“What the Americans do or don’t do on climate will impact the world and it’s incredible that this one coal lobbyist is holding things up. It will cause very bad consequences for us in Bangladesh, unfortunately," Huq added.

Tina Stege, who works as a climate representative for the Marshall Islands, a Pacific area that faces the danger of being destroyed in the event of a climate disaster, is urging the United States to take "immediate action."

“I’ve been following the situation closely,” said Stege. “We have to halve emissions in this decade and can’t do it without strong, immediate action by the US.”

Some of the United States' closest allies have also expressed concern as Manchin continues to stall the passing of critical legislation. In Canada, Catherine McKenna, an environmental minister for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, explained how they have watched the political battle unfold from afar in hopes that lawmakers can strike a deal in the near future.

"Biden has done a fair bit in very challenging circumstances [but] in Canada we look on with bewilderment because it’s such a different political context. It’s very bizarre,” said McKenna, who served in Trudeau’s government when it introduced carbon pricing in 2019. “Politics is hard but I don’t think anyone has given up. We just really hope they are able to get a deal.”

Despite the calls for action, Manchin is still pushing back against proposed legislation to stave off the impacts of climate change.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Biden, Manchin Had Long Chat About Spending Bill After Manchin Killed It

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden and Senator Joe Manchin spoke about the "Build Back Better" bill a day after the conservative Democratic senator publicly rejected the president's social spending plans, a White House adviser said on Friday.

"He (Biden) has some confidence about that (bill), including discussions he has had with Senator Manchin," Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House council of economic advisers, said in an interview with CNN on Friday.

"The president and Senator Manchin - the day after that announcement where the senator said he couldn't vote for the bill as it was - they were talking again."

Manchin, a conservative Democratic senator, rejected the president's Build Back Better plan earlier this month in a move that imperils the legislation.

Manchin's move prompted investment bank Goldman Sachs to lower its forecasts for U.S. economic growth. Manchin's rejection of the bill threatened to scuttle hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for measures to fight climate change and meet the Biden administration's climate goals.

Manchin has expressed concerns about a number of proposals in Biden's signature domestic policy bill, including multiple climate proposals and extending monthly child tax credit payments.

Biden told reporters after Manchin's rejection that he and the senator were "going to get something done" on the legislation.

Manchin's support is crucial in the Senate chamber where the Democrats have the slimmest margin of control and Republicans are united in their opposition to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the chamber would vote on a package in early 2022.

U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal, a leading liberal House Democrat, has asked Biden to continue focusing on the social spending legislation and urged him to use executive action despite Manchin's public rejection of the plan.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens and Alex Richardson)

How Democrats Made An Unnecessary Manchin Mess

"Joe Manchin Just Killed the Biden Agenda," lamented a headline in The Week. The funereal tone was echoed in much of the coverage of Sen. Manchin's blunt declaration on Sunday that he would not support the Build Back Better legislation in its current form. Even President Joe Biden's White House has stooped to insulting Manchin. Congressional progressives, from Sen. Bernie Sanders to Rep. Pramila Jayapal, issued severe warnings to Senator Red State that this time he had gone too far. They were going to take their complaints directly to the people of West Virginia!

On CNN, Sanders thundered:"Ask the people of West Virginia whether or not they want to lower the cost of prescription drugs. You ask them whether they want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eyeglasses. ... On all of those issues, I suspect people of West Virginia, like every other state in this country, will say, yes, do the right thing for working families."

As The Bulwark's Tim Miller so expertly explicated last week, this threat is hollow. "Joe Manchin knows that those who think passing BBB will help him in WV are completely and totally out of touch with his electorate."

The people of West Virginia are not just red; they are scarlet. Trump got a bigger percentage of the vote (68.6) in West Virginia in 2020 than he did in Texas or Louisiana or Oklahoma or Utah or Alabama. Whatever bedtime fairy tales the progressives are telling themselves about the voters of West Virginia, Manchin knows the reality.

Many a Democratic lawmaker and pundit has also whined about how unfair and undemocratic it is that one senator representing such a small state should be able to hold up legislation that the whole country wants so desperately.

Please. The rules are the rules. Our system was not designed to be a pure democracy. The Electoral College and the Senate give disproportionate power to some voters over others. You can gnash your teeth about it and shake your fists at the heavens, but to what end? Better to figure out how to woo gettable voters in swing states and win — as Biden did in 2020.

Correspondingly, when the Senate is evenly divided, every single senator becomes a potential majority maker or saboteur. That's math. The Democrats were lucky to squeak to 50, for which they can thank two people. The first was Donald Trump. Because of his tantrum about mythical election stealing, some 752,000 Georgia Republicans who voted in November failed to show up for the runoff in January. That was just enough to elect Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. The second person was Manchin, who has successfully threaded the needle of maintaining his credibility in a conservative state while still voting with his party most of the time.

What the Democrats, starting with Biden, ought to have done on January 21, 2021, was to sit down with Manchin and ask, "What can you support?" If that meant Manchin basically had veto power over some Democrats' priorities, so be it, because, ladies and gentlemen, he had it anyway, and now he has used it — except almost a year has been wasted.

The Democrats look weak and divided as well as petty and ineffectual. They're being branded by what they failed to do rather than by what they did.

This is political malpractice. The Democrats have actually passed quite a lot of legislation in the last 11 months, starting with the American Rescue Plan Act. They extended the Paycheck Protection Program, made Juneteenth a federal holiday and passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. That legislation contained a number of longtime progressive priorities, such as $39 billion for public transit, $47 billion for climate change mitigation and cyber security, $15 billion for electric vehicle charging stations and $55 billion for upgrading water infrastructure, including replacing all of the lead pipes in the nation (a matter of keen interest for poor people who are the most likely to live in places relying on old, lead pipes, which are known to cause brain damage in children).

Whatever you think about the merits of these bills (and I have my doubts about the American Rescue Plan), these accomplishments are certainly enough to give the Democrats bragging rights. And if new reports are right, Manchin was and possibly remains willing to sign onto a $1.8 trillion spending package that includes universal pre-K fully funded for 10 years, massive allocations for climate change, and expansions of the Affordable Care Act.

A competent political party would be taking yes for an answer, passing Manchin's bill and turning to more urgent priorities like cheap, abundant COVID-19 tests, reform of the Electoral Count Act and increasing legal immigration to cope with our severe labor shortage. There is still time, but not much.

Mona Charen is policy editor of The Bulwark and host of the Beg to Differ podcast. Her most recent book is Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.


Economists Debunk Manchin's Gripe About Build Back Better And Inflation

When Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced, during a Fox News appearance on December 19, that he was still a “no” vote on the Build Back Better Act — after months of negotiating with President Joe Biden and Democratic members of Congress — he cited inflation as one of his main concerns. And Manchin discussed his fears about inflation some more during an interview with West Virginia’s MetroNews the following day.

But according to CNN’s Tara Subramaniam, many economists are saying that the BBB Act would have only a “marginal” effect on inflation.“It’s important to put Manchin's inflation fears in the proper context,” Subramaniam explains. “For most of the past decade, inflation in the U.S. was historically low — this despite years of low-interest rates following the Great Recession. But the coronavirus changed all that, and as the global economy has recovered from the pandemic-induced downturn, prices have spiked, rising at the fastest rate in the US in almost four decades.”

Subramaniam notes that on December 23, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the PCE Price Index — which is used to measure inflation — had increased by 5.7 percent during a 12-month period. That was the most rapid inflation increase since 1982.

“With prices rising so fast,” Subramaniam observes, “critics have claimed that it's dangerous to throw trillions of dollars in fiscal stimulus — if you add up the already-passed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Plan — onto an economy where prices are already soaring.”

But Subramaniam adds that Larry Summers, who served as secretary of the Treasury Department under President Barack Obama, “isn’t so worried” about the Build Back Better Act — although he has voiced concerns that too much stimulus could overheat the U.S.

Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody's Analytics, told CNN, “One shouldn't vote for or against this legislation based on the impact on inflation…. Maybe on the margin, it adds a bit to inflation next year, the year after. Maybe on the margin, it reduces inflation in the longer run. But taking a step back, it does not have a meaningful impact on inflation.”

Justin Wolfers, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, told CNN that “roughly speaking, Build Back Better is not inflationary.”

Wolfers argued, “Manchin either fails to understand the inflation concerns or fails to understand the structure of the bill. The inflation surge is today; it’s expected to be gone soon. Build Back Better, if it does anything to the economy, will be, most of it, several years hence…. If you wanted to spend $2 trillion in 2021, that would be inflationary, but that is not at all what the bill does.”

Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, discussed the BBB Act with CNN as well —saying, “We think that in the first couple of years, there's about $250 billion of spending. By the third year, over $300 billion; (it) peaks in 2025 at almost $400 billion of spending and tax cuts, and ramps down to about $150 (billion) a year by the end.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

Livid With Sen. Manchin, Coal Miners Say He's Turning His Back On Them

After DINO Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) selfishly torpedoed President Biden's Build Back Better plan, sending the markets in a tailspin on Monday and leaving millions of working poor parents out in the cold, the faux democratic Senator did what he always does when opposing a very popular piece of legislation from his own party: run to the media and claim the bill would harm his West Virginia constituents.

Worse yet, Manchin came even closer to becoming a full-blown Republican when he falsely claimed that parents would use the Child Tax Credit to buy drugs. One can make an argument that it's not the government's job to subsidize your family, especially when single working-class Americans aren't getting any such relief, but it's beyond disingenuous and ugly to believe that the monies are being used on drugs.

But the United Mine Workers are telling Manchin it’s time he works for them and support this bill.

"We urge Senator Manchin to revisit his opposition to this legislation and work with his colleagues to pass something that will help keep coal miners working, and have a meaningful impact on our members, their families and their communities,” Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in a statement Monday. These workers are justifiably sacred about job security and want help now. Build Back Better, for example, includes several tax incentives—which Manchin's Big Coal donors are fighting—to encourage manufacturers to build new facilities at the coal site and hire unemployed miners.

Manchin's opposition means “the potential for those jobs is significantly threatened,” Roberts said. And Phil Smith, the union’s chief lobbyist, highlighted this provision in an interview with The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, saying the bill would “provide a better chance of helping workers who will be dislocated by our transition to a decarbonized future—a dislocation that will likely continue either way—than not passing BBB will.” Adding, the bill “provides the potential for good jobs that our members who have been dislocated can get,” Smith said

These coal miners are not just upset with Senator Manchin's blatant disregard for the economic livelihoods, but they also believe in voting rights--a provision in BBB--and want him to get on board with that as well.

“I also want to reiterate our support for the passage of voting rights legislation as soon as possible, and strongly encourage Senator Manchin and every other Senator to be prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish that,” Roberts said in the statement. “Anti-democracy legislators and their allies are working every day to roll back the right to vote in America. Failure by the Senate to stand up to that is unacceptable and a dereliction of their duty to the Constitution.”



In short, these coal miners vigorously believe in the BBB and are not going to let one Senator's massively large ego get in the way of their survival.

Hey, Sen. Manchin! That Child Tax Credit Was Used For Food And Rent, Not Drugs

Sen. Joe Manchin reportedly doesn’t like the expanded child tax credit because parents might use the money to buy drugs. But in reality, he’s getting in the way of parents buying their kids food. That’s the primary way families have been spending the monthly checks, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The expanded child tax credit, included in the American Rescue Plan, gives all but the highest-income families a $250-a-month payment for children aged six to 17, and $300 for children five and under. According to the Census data, 59 percent of families bought food with the money, 52 percent made utility payments, 45 percent paid the rent or the mortgage, 44 percent bought clothing, and 40 percent paid education costs. Nine out of 10 families spent money on at least one of those things. Paying down debt has been another widespread use

.

Another poll previously found that building emergency savings was a top plan for the money, while routine expenses, essential items for children, and food were runners-up.

Either way, the use of the money for food shows up in data finding a significant drop in food insecurity in households with kids—from 11 percent before the checks started going out to 8.4 percent after. And while people are unlikely to tell a pollster that they’re going to use the money on drugs, Manchin’s insistence that this was likely is a longtime right-wing trope that’s been disproven again and again. When Florida imposed drug testing for welfare benefits, so few people tested positive that the cost of the testing was higher than the number of benefits not distributed. Then-South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was caught in a false claim that half of the unemployed people were testing positive for drugs, when in fact, of the people tested, less than one percent failed.

Many families in this country are hanging on by their fingernails. They don’t have enough or good enough food, they’re behind on the rent or the mortgage, their kids are outgrowing their clothes and there’s no money for replacements. That can be just as true of families with members working at the poverty-level federal minimum wage—which Manchin worries about raising too much—or of families with members laid-off or unable to work in the still-ongoing pandemic. For these families, the child tax credit has been a lifeline. Manchin has cut off that lifeline based on a lie.

Article reprinted with permission from Daily Kos