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Politics Joe Manchin warns against overuse of budget tool Democrats hope to use to pass Biden's agenda

07:50  08 april  2021
07:50  08 april  2021 Source:   cnn.com

Opinion: The problem with Joe Manchin

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Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin made his opposition to frequent use of the budget reconciliation process clear Wednesday evening in a Washington Post op-ed, sending a warning to Democrats who hope to use it to pass President Joe Biden's legislative priorities.

a man wearing a neck tie: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) arrives at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) arrives at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.

"If the filibuster is eliminated or budget reconciliation becomes the norm, a new and dangerous precedent will be set to pass sweeping, partisan legislation that changes the direction of our nation every time there is a change in political control. The consequences will be profound -- our nation may never see stable governing again," the West Virginia lawmaker wrote.

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His message comes after the Senate parliamentarian ruled earlier this week that Democrats may amend the budget resolution they used for their Covid-19 relief bill and attach another set of reconciliation instructions to it, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The ruling was a key step for Democrats as they weigh their options for moving infrastructure legislation, potentially giving them a route to pass new legislation without Republican votes. But the reconciliation process still requires a simple majority, a threshold Democrats can't reach without Manchin's vote.

"I simply do not believe budget reconciliation should replace regular order in the Senate. How is that good for the future of this nation? Senate Democrats must avoid the temptation to abandon our Republican colleagues on important national issues," Manchin wrote.

Joe Manchin on the fate of Joe Biden's agenda

  Joe Manchin on the fate of Joe Biden's agenda Joe Manchin says it's no fun being the most powerful man in Washington. The West Virginia Democrat, who sits at the fulcrum of the Senate balance of power, suggested the US Capitol insurrection was a warning for him -- of the divisions tearing America apart and the dangers wrought by politicians who abuse their power."Something told me, 'Wait a minute. Pause. Hit the pause button.' Something's wrong. You can't have this many people split to where they want to go to war with each other," Manchin told CNN's Lauren Fox in an interview on Thursday.

"Republicans, however, have a responsibility to stop saying no, and participate in finding real compromise with Democrats."

Democrats had used the procedural tool to pass Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan last month, allowing lawmakers to bypass the Senate's 60-vote threshold typically required for breaking filibusters and moving legislation forward.

The reconciliation process was set up as part of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act to make it faster and easier to pass legislation related to spending, taxes and debt, because debate on the bills is limited to 20 hours and can be passed on a simple majority vote.

But working legislation through regular order in the Senate, Manchin maintained, is the best governing process that "prevents drastic swings in federal policymaking."

"We will not solve our nation's problems in one Congress if we seek only partisan solutions. Instead of fixating on eliminating the filibuster or shortcutting the legislative process through budget reconciliation, it is time we do our jobs."

Joe Manchin Defends Minimum Wage Stance of Republicans 'Just Not in Sync With Bernie Sanders' .
"I think that every Republican wants to raise the minimum wage," said the Democratic senator from West Virginia. "Everyone's just not in sync with Bernie Sanders at $15."President Joe Biden and progressive Democrats have pushed to more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15, but Manchin along with some other moderate Democrats and many Republicans have opposed the proposal. Democrats' efforts to include the substantial wage hike in Biden's $1.

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