(UnitedVoice.com) – A popular talking point among Democrats and the media is that the GOP is blocking the Democrat’s far-left agenda in the US Senate. Is that true? Perhaps partially it is, but that’s far from the whole story. Before the GOP can do anything, Democrats must be 100% on board with any pieces of legislation in an evenly divided Senate. At least one moderate Senate Democrat is bucking the Left and stalling much of Biden’s plan, and probably two.
On Tuesday, June 1, President Joe Biden took a swipe at Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). It’s becoming a tradition for Biden to play with the truth to strong-arm his opponents. However, it doesn’t work in the president’s favor, and it certainly isn’t presidential. The president was asked by the media what stalled his legislation. Biden acknowledged it’s difficult to pass the Progressive agenda with only a four-vote advantage in the House and an evenly divided Senate. However, he alluded to two Democrat Senators, Manchin and Sinema, who he claims “vote more with my Republican friends.”
Biden’s Agenda Is Threatened More by His Own Party Than by Republicans
Biden must be careful or he could cause a serious problem for his agenda. By revealing his frustration, the president all but acknowledged his plan is in serious jeopardy. Over the last few months, Manchin has become the single most powerful person in Washington, DC. He hails from the deeply red state of West Virginia, where 69% of the people voted for former President Donald Trump in last November’s election.
Manchin has real questions he must ask himself with every vote he makes. Most importantly, will he listen to his constituents at home, or will he sacrifice himself on the altar of the far-left? To this point, Manchin appears to be somewhat listening to his voters at home. The West Virginia Senator opposes numerous proposals, including:
- Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour;
- Transforming elections from state responsibilities to federal elections to make it easier for Democrats to win elections;
- Raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%;
- Expanding background checks for firearms purchases; and
- Ending the filibuster, much to his Democrat colleagues’ chagrin.
Right now, the GOP is not the main threat to Biden’s agenda, Manchin is. And Biden and the far Left don’t know what to do about him. There isn’t much they can do but apply public pressure. However, the pressure Manchin is likely to get from deeply conservative West Virginia is far more impactful on him than anything Biden or DC Democrats can bring to bear.
Manchin is old school, and he’s a respectful person. It’s doubtful that Manchin will risk his political career unnecessarily. On the other hand, Manchin is a reasonably reliable Democrat and can be counted on more times than not to vote with Democrats.
He’s just not reliable for his party when it comes to far-left initiatives, or so it appears at this point in Biden’s presidency.
If Biden tries too hard to strong-arm Manchin, it could backfire. Over the next 17 months, the relationship bears watching as America prepares to vote in a midterm election that — barring any unforeseen developments — heavily favors Republicans.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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