‘He Sabotaged the President’s Agenda’: Joe Manchin Leaves Democrats With Nothing Next

Joe Manchin will come his way – again. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Third that he would accept the conciliatory compromise of West Virginia conservatives. It has a provision to reduce prescription drug prices, and subsidize health care, and — perhaps most importantly for Schumer — the votes will be passed. But overall, it’s a terrible deal, especially considering what it used to be. Gone are the tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans, which Manchin said just a few months ago was key to pushing back against inflation (something he claims to be concerned about). Environmental measures are over, the necessity of which has been emphasized in recent days by historic heat waves and unprecedented wildfires. Gone is much of the ambition that once featured on the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda.

Democrats came to Washington last year with the promise of not just hitting the restart button in four years Donald Trump, but to enact a bold platform. The signature part of that agenda is the Build Back Better plan, the very bill Manchin shortened from a $2 trillion transformation package into “Rebuilding the backbone of the country” for what is now essentially a narrow section of healthcare law. Democrats have no choice but to do it at this point – it will improve people’s lives and victory is victory. “We have to be pragmatic in making progress one step at a time,” as an MP Ro Khanna told NBC News. And yet, the miniature bill is something of a symbol of the Democrats’ miniature legislative ambitions, largely due to the stalemate within their ranks.

“He’s sabotaged the president’s agenda,” Progressive Senator Bernie Sanders speak of Manchin on Sunday.

It’s not that the party hasn’t scored some policy victories. Are from Joe Biden took office, they passed Reducing COVID, the infrastructureand gun safety laws; The second bill is the first such bill in three decades. They also have confirmed nearly 70 judges, consists of Ketanji Brown Jackson – the first black woman on the supreme court. All of that is very impressive, and none of it should be taken for granted. But much of that success has been overshadowed by failures – on Capitol Hill, where Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, and 50 obstructionist Republicans who have killed or undermined key parts of the Biden agenda; in state legislatures, which have been pets for extreme conservatism; and especially at the Supreme Court, where an impenetrable right-wing majority has, only in the most recent term, been demolished. abortion rights, administrative stateand Attempts to adjust the gun. Democrats are taking action “step by step, as Khanna put it. But it feels as if the Trumpian right is advancing its own agenda in huge leaps and bounds.

Biden is paying the price for that disappointment in the polls, and his party will likely pay for that by mid-November – and rightly so Democrats. own some error for their own struggles. But perhaps the bigger problem with their legislative program is the deterioration of the legislative process itself, which at this point seems designed to ensure as little as possible to get through the deadlock of the legislature. party. Much of the GOP is clearly not interested in actual legislative activity; they assigned that task to the Supreme Court. Jim Jordanone of the top Republicans in the House, all acknowledged Tuesday as he denounced a Democratic-led effort to codify same-sex marriage rights into federal law.

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Meanwhile, Democrats must essentially rely on agencies and actions to do much of the governance work. But in this game of rock-paper-scissors, the conservative courts seem to have the upper hand, as evidenced in the decisions handcuffs the regulatory body of the Environmental Protection Agency and prevent the administration of Biden from the issuance of COVID vaccination and testing requirements.

Of course, the president and his party are not helpless. Biden is expected announced executive action to combat climate change, and consider declaring a climate emergency, which could expand his power to unilaterally solve the problem. “If the Senate doesn’t move to address the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry,” Biden said in a statement. statement last week, “I will take strong executive action to meet this moment.” Meanwhile, Democrats will have a better chance of implementing stronger legislation on climate, reproductive rights and other issues if they can expand their majority enough to take away leverage. by Manchin. “We’re going to have to have two more Democrats, real Democrats [in the Senate]who will really help us carry out the president’s agenda, not stand in the way of it,” Congressional Radical Conference Chairman Pramila Jayapal told reporters this week. But it’s a noble task — and unless and until it comes to fruition, the soaring ambitions of Biden and much of his team’s running will be weighed down by Manchin’s far narrower vision.

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