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Politics ‘Who’s he supposed to be afraid of?’ Biden at legislative impasse with Manchin

02:05  11 june  2021
02:05  11 june  2021 Source:   mcclatchydc.com

Manchin's homegrown bipartisanship comes up against a changing world

  Manchin's homegrown bipartisanship comes up against a changing world When Joe Manchin was in the fight of his political life, vying for reelection in a state where being a Democrat had long been out of fashion, the senator's opening message to voters focused on the place he knew best: Farmington, West Virginia. © Maddie McGarvey for CNN Michael Angelucci, former state delegate, and Donna Costello, former mayor of Farmington.

‘ Who ’ s he supposed to be afraid of ?’: Biden at legislative impasse with Manchin . Vicky Hartzler, who represents a very conservative and mostly rural area of central and western Missouri in Congress, officially entered the crowded race Thursday for the Senate seat fellow conservative Roy Blunt is giving up once his term ends.

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WASHINGTON — The White House has reached an impasse with Sen. Joe Manchin, the centrist Democrat from conservative West Virginia who this week reiterated his opposition to key elements of the president’s legislative agenda.

a couple of men standing next to a man wearing a suit and tie: Bill Cassidy, R- La., and Rep. Fred Upton, R- Mich.,, join in announcing a bipartisan proposal for a COVID-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2020. Manchin holds the key to whether some of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda gets passed in Congress. © Tasos Katopodis/New York Daily News/TNS Bill Cassidy, R- La., and Rep. Fred Upton, R- Mich.,, join in announcing a bipartisan proposal for a COVID-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2020. Manchin holds the key to whether some of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda gets passed in Congress.

It’s left President Joe Biden with a decision to make.

In coming months, the leader of the Democratic Party must decide whether he can cajole Manchin with a mixture of schmoozing and arm-twisting that eventually convinces the lawmaker to relent — a process that threatens to further delay Biden’s agenda if it fails — or instead capitulate and move on to other issues, a decision that would anger the president’s liberal base and reduce the size and scope of his potential accomplishments.

The Democratic Senators Hiding Behind Joe Manchin

  The Democratic Senators Hiding Behind Joe Manchin It was March 5, right before the Senate’s doomed vote to raise the minimum wage to $15, and, as usual, Sen. Joe Manchin was the center of attention. But there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism. That tally surprisedBut there was no need for reporters to swarm the West Virginia moderate. On that day, he was far from the only Democrat who’d give the thumbs-down to a progressive priority. Seven other Democratic senators would vote the same way—and draw far less recognition or criticism.

Joe Biden , President of the United States, served as Vice President from 2009 to 2017 and in the United States Senate from 1973 until 2009.

By the time Biden took office, his legislative affairs team -- made up of several former Capitol Hill hands who brought with them significant bipartisan credibility from their past staff work -- was already deeply engaged in the process. White House officials say he is , and will continue to be , on the lookout for opportunities to negotiate with Republicans. But they see little sign that moving without Republicans on their first legislation out of the gate will somehow poison future negotiations. The hurdles ahead. In order to build consensus quickly, aides and members say that a decision was made

Either approach carries risk, political veterans say, in dealing with a lawmaker whose opposition to any legislation can single-handedly stop it from becoming law in an evenly divided Senate.

“We’re all trapped in this choose-your-own-adventure book where Joe Manchin is the narrator, and he’s the only one who knows how this ends,” said Liam Donovan, a Republican lobbyist. “In the meantime, you either roll Manchin or you co-opt him by doing what he wants.”

So far, the White House is embracing a mixture of both approaches with a lawmaker whose recent policy pronouncements have taken Washington by storm.

In the past week alone, Manchin has declared his opposition to a Democratic-backed voting rights bill and once again insisted on the need for bipartisan compromise on a multibillion-dollar infrastructure package, arguing in both cases that the country would be better off if the parties were able to negotiate together in good faith.

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  Joe Manchin's U.S. Chamber of Commerce sure loves Joe Manchin. Is that why his op-ed on voting bill echoed their talking points? Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) heads to a vote in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The spotlight on Sen. Manchin grew even brighter after declaring that he will vote against the Democrats voting rights bill, the For the People Act, in his op-ed that was published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail over the weekend.

President Joe Biden ’ s first full day of his eight-day overseas tour got off to a wobbly start as a diplomatic row between the U. S . and U.K. over trade inspections in Northern Ireland erupted into public view—just as Biden was preparing to sit down with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The two leaders wanted the day to be focused on their renewal of the 80-year-old Atlantic Charter that codifies the countries’ long-standing alliance. Instead, a British news report that the U. S .’ s top diplomat in the U.K. delivered a pointed rebuke over how Johnson’ s government is handling Brexit in Northern Ireland

He added that Biden sounded like an elderly relative who was “slipping away.” Several others joked about how the media continues to downplay Biden ’ s verbal gaffes. “It’ s just a ‘stutter.’ The 78-year-old has experienced similar mental hiccups. In December, he mispronounced the name of his nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra – then corrected the error with a different mispronunciation. Last week pundits accused Biden ’ s team of keeping the president on a short leash after he announced that he would be “happy” to take questions from the press during a

He also reiterated that he will not vote to end the legislative filibuster, a step many Democrats on Capitol Hill consider necessary to pass the party’s full agenda in the face of united opposition from Republicans. Sixty senators are required to end the filibuster in the Senate, meaning Democrats would need the support of at least 10 Republican senators in a chamber split evenly between the two parties.

“American democracy is something special, it is bigger than one party, or the tweet-filled partisan attack politics of the moment,” Manchin wrote in a Charleston Gazette-Mail opinion piece published Sunday. “It is my sincere hope that all of us, especially those who are privileged to serve, remember our responsibility to do more to unite this country before it is too late.”

Manchin’s announcements created what some political observers say is the first real legislative stalemate for the president, who within months of taking office passed a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief bill through Congress on a party-line vote and introduced two more expansive proposals to invest trillions of dollars in infrastructure and enhanced family care.

Some Democrats wonder when Schumer will get tough with Manchin

  Some Democrats wonder when Schumer will get tough with Manchin Sen. Joe Manchin's defiant statement that he will not vote for a sweeping election reform bill nor vote to get rid of the filibuster has progressive groups and some Democratic lawmakers wondering when Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) will get tough with the West Virginia Democrat.Manchin is a member of Schumer's leadership team and Schumer has several points of leverage, including the power to replace him as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But Schumer doesn't have a reputation for getting tough with colleagues. Instead, he keeps them close and hardly ever criticizes Democratic senators who cause him headaches.

He selected Mehrsa Baradaran, whose book “The Color of Money” focuses on the racial gap. Baradaran is a member of the Biden transition team focusing on the Treasury Department. Lisa Cook, an economist at Michigan State University is focusing on the Federal Reserve and banking and securities regulators for team Biden . Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will face pressure to deliver progress for women and non-whites, who gave the ticket a record vote to elevate them to the White House. Black Lives Matter activists are already demanding a Biden -Harris meeting.

Joe Manchin in Washington on Wednesday. Manchin said he would not be voting for the For the People voting rights bill. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “the era of bipartisanship is over”, with every bill the Democrats have introduced in June including something he said Republicans could not support. Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin gave it as the reason why he wasn’t voting for the For The People bill that would voting rights, because he believed such legislation needed to be bipartisan.

“This is the system of government we have, and by nature of the breakdown of the Senate, those realities present constraints to the White House,” said Eric Schultz, a deputy White House press secretary for former President Barack Obama. “That said, there is no one who I think is better positioned to work this than Joe Biden, someone who understands the Senate, someone who understands the prerogatives of senators.”

The personal relationship between Manchin and Biden remains strong. The president, senator, and their senior staff remain in regular contact, and White House officials point out that on many issues — including the COVID-19 relief bill — the two men have been in agreement.

Manchin has also praised the White House repeatedly, saying in an interview last week that he had “never had an administration pay this much attention” to West Virginia.

Still, Biden appeared to express frustration at Manchin and another more centrist Democratic senator, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, during a speech earlier this month, explaining that he couldn’t get more done in Congress because of “two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.”

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Since Manchin reiterated his opposition to the voting rights bill and ending the filibuster, other Democrats have been far more harsh, especially from the party’s liberal wing. One Democratic lawmaker likened the West Virginia lawmaker to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, a comparison White House officials declined to embrace.

“We’re going to leave the name-calling to others,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. “The president considers Senator Manchin a friend.”

The White House said that Biden appreciates Manchin’s support for past legislative initiatives.

“While they have different views on voting rights — which is a core priority for the President that he is pursuing forcefully — he has always believed it’s important to work well with colleagues regardless of disagreements,” said White House spokesman Andrew Bates in a statement Thursday.

Psaki said the White House plans to “continue to seek ways we can work with Senator Manchin” even after they disagree on some issues.

Veteran lawmakers say criticizing Manchin in public is unlikely to convince him to change his position. But some of them say that criticism might be exactly what the senator wants, to prove his independence from the party’s liberal faction in an overwhelmingly Republican state where former President Donald Trump won by nearly 40 percentage points.

Even trying to strong-arm lawmakers in private can have little effect, they add.

“There’s always going to be some staffers along the way who’ll take the we’ll-show-him attitude. We’ll bring him around. We’ll sanction him,” said Ben Nelson, a former Democratic senator from Nebraska. “And in my opinion, that just doesn’t work”

He said that any threats could easily backfire on the party because Manchin knows how important it is for Democrats to keep that seat in West Virginia.

“Who’s he supposed to be afraid of?” Nelson said. “What are the sanctions? You keep holding out and we’ll take away your committees? Why would they want to do that? Do they want to strengthen the seat in West Virginia or drive it to the opposition party?”

Fox News' Chris Wallace Confronts Joe Manchin Over 'Being Naive' About Bipartisan Cooperation .
"Haven't you empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?" the Fox News host asked Manchin.Since President Joe Biden took office and Democrats narrowly won control of the Senate, Manchin has emerged as one of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C. The moderate Democrat has repeatedly emphasized the need for bipartisanship and opposed ending the Senate's legislative filibuster—putting him at odds with many Democratic colleagues. With an evenly split Senate, Manchin's support or opposition to Democrats' legislative priorities has become a key factor in determining whether they move forward or not.

usr: 1
This is interesting!