News & Politics

Will Manchin and Sinema Strategically Pause and Save Us?

(AP Photo/Matt York, file)

Are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) distancing themselves from the reckless “reconciliation” package Democrats are desperately trying to force onto the American people?

Earlier this week, a news story in the Arizona Republic made it seem possible.

“Next Sinema will turn her attention to ensuring the money, which includes $550 billion of new funding, is spent and that the money flows quickly to entities across the U.S. Some projects could begin in the next couple of months,” the report explained. “After the holidays, Sinema said she anticipates employing the same bipartisan across-the-aisle approach with the ‘Gang of 10’ senators to move on other key issues, from immigration reform to hiking the federal minimum wage.”

But perhaps most tellingly, “Sinema said she is unmoved by criticism by the left wing of the Democratic Party and some moderates who have blasted her demand to scale back the budget reconciliation bill and threatened to recruit primary challengers to run against her in 2024,” the paper relayed.

Well, that’s not a ringing endorsement for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB), and it supports a view that Sinema would not be sad to see the monstrosity disappear.

Meanwhile, like everyone not in Biden World, Manchin is attuned to the perils of inflation.

“Red-hot inflation data validates the instinct of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to punt President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda until next year — potentially killing a quick deal on the $1.75 trillion package,” Axios reported Wednesday, then added a couple of key bullet points:

  • With a limited number of legislative days left in the year, Manchin is content to focus on the issues that need to be addressed.

  • They include funding the government, raising the debt ceiling, and passing the National Defense Authorization Act.

  • Manchin, like a group of House moderates, also wants to see a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the true cost of each of Biden’s proposed programs, as well as the tax proposals to fund them.

Whatever truce exists between Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and more sane House members appears inapplicable to the U.S. Senate, where the strong-willed Sinema has driven liberals bonkers by declining to comment on or commit to radical legislation; for his part, Manchin has made it clear he has concerns and wants to slow down.

Related: Manchin Has Concerns Over Far Left Agenda

The White House is displeased.

Here on a cold Veterans Day, I see two possible outcomes.

Sinema, Manchin, and, to a lesser likelihood, House moderates, could kill BBB, in which case they will do the country a favor, so we can move on to more pressing matters.

Or they can help BBB pass by making the bill slightly less egregious.

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton offers a lot more in a stirring thread:

It may be simplistic, but that’s my insight for now.