Sen. Manchin not marching in line as Dems shove massive pork-laden $3.5T spending plan along

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is throwing a wrench into Democrats’ plans to shove through Biden’s massive $3.5 trillion spending plan, warning that he may block it due to “serious concerns” over inflation and debt.

“Early this morning, I voted ‘YES’ on a procedural vote to move forward on the budget reconciliation process because I believe it is important to discuss the fiscal policy future of this country,” Manchin announced in a statement.

“Over the past year, Congress has injected more than $5 trillion of stimulus into the American economy – more than any time since World War II – to respond to the pandemic. The challenge we now face is different: millions of jobs remain unfilled across the country and rising inflation rates are now an unavoidable tax on the wages and income of every American,” he noted. “These are not indications of an economy that requires trillions in additional spending.”

“Adding trillions of dollars more to nearly $29 trillion of national debt, without any consideration of the negative effects on our children and grandchildren, is one of those decisions that has become far too easy in Washington,” Manchin remarked. “Given the current state of the economic recovery, it is simply irresponsible to continue spending at levels more suited to respond to a Great Depression or Great Recession – not an economy that is on the verge of overheating.”

He added that “irresponsible levels of spending” could negatively impact the nation’s ability to react to “unforeseen consequences.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is also tentative regarding the Democrat wishlist and stated in July, “While I will support beginning this process [of budget reconciliation], I do not support a bill that costs $3.5 trillion.”

The massive pork-laden spending spree is being pushed hard by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

In order for the bill to pass, every Democrat will have to support it in the Senate. No Republican is likely to sign off on such an irresponsible level of spending. In order for it to get full approval, it is likely it will have to be significantly cut back. Even trickier for Democrats is the fact that progressives in the Senate and House are not likely to accept a reconciliation bill that’s diminished.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) have both flatly stated that they won’t vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the reconciliation bill is passed in the Senate intact.

The Senate passed the Democrats’ budget resolution with the assistance of Manchin and Sinema early on Wednesday morning in a 50-49 vote along party lines. Liberal lawmakers locked horns over the need for massive spending to fight climate change and poverty. It is likely that the House will approve it after it comes back into session later in August. Drafting and passing the legislation is another matter altogether and will most likely drag well into the fall.

“It’s been quite a night. We still have a ways to go, but we’ve taken a giant step forward to transforming America. This is the most significant piece of legislation that’s been considered in decades,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters.

This follows after Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan was passed in a bipartisan 69-30 vote thanks to 19 Republican Senators voting for it.

The Democrats will now embrace weeks of debates about progressive priorities including universal preschool, affordable housing, and climate-friendly technologies, with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seeking intense action concerning climate change.

“Democrats have labored for months to reach this point, and there are many labors to come. But I can say with absolute certainty that it will be worth doing. The Democratic budget will bring a generational transformation to how our economy works for average Americans,” Schumer proclaimed to the press Wednesday morning.

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