January 8, 2021

MANCHIN: Biden push for new stimulus checks runs into roadblock from key Democratic senator.

President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for a major new economic relief package boosting stimulus payments to $2,000 ran into possibly fatal opposition from his own party Friday as Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said he would “absolutely not” support a new round of checks.

Manchin, a moderate who will hold great sway in a Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, made his views known even as the Biden team worked to develop a coronavirus relief package that would include new stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits, and more. . . .

Without united Democratic support Biden would need to attract Republican votes for his proposal. And while some Republicans have supported $2,000 stimulus payments, but there is scant GOP support for other elements of Biden’s emerging plan, such as extending unemployment benefits.

That means Manchin’s opposition to new stimulus payments could kill Biden’s proposal altogether, or force him to reshape it dramatically. And it offers an early preview of the challenges Biden will face in governing over the next four years even with his party controlling both chambers of Congress.

Have fun, guys.

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