By all means, vote in the Senate on Build back better



Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer


J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

So much for a new political orientation. Democrats took Sen. Joe Manchin’s rejection of the Build Back Better Act on Sunday as an opportunity not to rethink their platform, but to challenge West Virginia to challenge them in the Senate. We can hear the Republicans respond: Be our guest.

“Senators should know that the Senate will in fact be reviewing the Build Back Better Act very early in the New Year so that every member of that body has an opportunity to make their position known to the Senate, not just on television. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.

He follows the line taken by Senator Bernie Sanders, who demanded Sunday that Mr. Manchin must “vote no in front of the whole world”. This was echoed by Queens Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who could run against Mr Schumer in a primary next year.

Mr Schumer’s calculation is undoubtedly the preservation of his career, as he bowed to AOC for months. But we wonder how other Senate Democrats feel, especially those planning to run for office next year in the Swing States.

Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, in place in 2022, will vote for a bill that creates significant new rights and explodes the deficit while raising taxes on businesses and drastically reducing them for professionals wealthy blue states?

What about Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, also up in 2022, or Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, where President Biden’s margin in 2020 was less than a percentage point?

Georgia’s Senator Raphael Warnock would likely vote for the bill even if it had a price tag of $ 20 trillion, but an official vote will also give his GOP opponent more ammunition next year. Senator Jon Tester of Montana is not running for reelection until 2024, but his self-image as a moderate in a Red State would be destroyed by a vote for the most ambitious welfare state expansion in decades. decades.

As for Mr. Manchin, a survey Last month, 74% of West Virginia voters oppose the Build Back Better Act, and President Biden’s approval rating is under 33 points. Mr. Manchin has a 60% approval rating in one of the reddest US states. On Monday, he reacted to Sunday’s taunts against him from the White House by saying he would consider supporting the bill if Democrats start over and execute each policy by regular order in committees first. Maybe calling him a liar was a bad idea.

The votes in the Senate would have the added benefit of showing that Mr. Manchin is not the only opponent of Build Back Better. The progressives want to blow up the obstruction so that 41 senators cannot block the legislation, and the AOC declares that the Senate is “fundamentally undemocratic”. But a vote will show Build Back Better doesn’t even have a simple majority, as 50 Republicans are against it as well. Democrats refuse to adopt a radical agenda in an equally divided country.

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Appeared in the print edition of Dec. 21, 2021 under the headline “Democrats are in Manchin Denial”.



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