Schumer Lets Manchin Take the Lead on Spending Bill
After passing billions of dollars out of the House Appropriations Committee a couple of weeks ago, the Senate is working on a separate spending measure. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is itching to pass a reconciliation bill. This type of spending bill overrides the filibuster allowing the measure to pass with 51 votes instead of the usual 60 votes. With Democrats having a one-vote majority in the Senate, this seems like an easy feat. However, they still have moderates like Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to contend with.
Sen. Schumer is letting Sen. Manchin take the lead. The impending bill has been touted as “Build Back Better Manchin” which signals to us that the same leftist “woke” agenda will be looming inside. Sen. Manchin prevented the original Build Back Better Act from moving last year because of the nearly $3 trillion price tag. Sen. Sinema had different concerns stemming from the fifteen percent increase in the corporate tax rate.
So far, Democrats have come to an agreement with Sen. Manchin to cut prescription costs, extend Medicare’s solvency, and raise taxes on the wealthy. They are still working on climate change initiatives. This is an area where they must tread lightly due to Sen. Manchin’s duty to his home state of West Virginia where certain clean energy initiatives could bankrupt the state’s top industries.
As recent as last September, Sen. Manchin has defended the Hyde amendment in reconciliation bills. This amendment ensures that taxpayer money will not fund abortions. With the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision nagging at Democrats’ minds, it’s imperative that he hold the line on protecting the preborn and the American tax dollar in this way.
Republicans aren’t as ginned up over the reconciliation package though. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) threatened to hold up a China competitiveness bill by tweeting:
Let me be perfectly clear: there will be no bipartisan USICA as long as Democrats are pursuing a partisan reconciliation bill.
Sen. McConnell has made threats like this before and then backtracked. His most recent flip-flop occurred during the December debt limit negotiations. While Democrats may get the votes needed to pass reconciliation, Republicans must band together to oppose the measure which will add trillions to our overall debt. In a time of outrageous inflation, Americans cannot afford to lose even more money.
Even though negotiations are underway, the bill will not move this week. Sen. Schumer is not present in-person due to COVID and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is recovering from surgery. Any Democrat-led legislation would be dead-on-arrival with two of their members absent. Eagle Forum is keeping a close eye on these negotiations and will keep you informed as the bill moves.