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Joe Manchin Skeptical of Bernie’s $3.5 Trillion Reconciliation Package

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is skeptical of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package unveiled Tuesday, throwing a wrench into President Joe Biden’s two track agenda.

“We’re anxious to review it,” Manchin told a Washington Post reporter on Wednesday before expressing his concerns on how to pay for the massive spending increase and whether the package will make America “globally competitive.”

“Dental is a very important part of a person’s health… But we have to pay for all this,” Manchin pointed out, along with expressing concern over the crises of inflation and deficit spending.

“I think everything should be paid for. We’ve put enough free money out,” Manchin told reporters.

Manchin’s comments come as Senate Democrats announced Tuesday evening a $3.5 trillion reconciliation “infrastructure” proposal that otherwise would not make it into a bipartisan infrastructure deal.

The $3.5 trillion represents a top line budget number that includes many items self-designated socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) fancies, such as expanding medicare, global warming initiatives, and suburb displacement with low-income housing, subsidized housing, subsidized childcare, and subsidized racial equity and environmental justice.

The text of the Senate’s budget plan has yet to be released, but is planned to coincide with the bipartisan infrastructure two-pronged approach “to circumvent a GOP filibuster using budget reconciliation, the same move that Democrats used to pass the president’s $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package in March.”

Manchin’s hesitancy underscores what other congressional members might think of the reconciliation package, as Democrat leadership has said they will not support the bipartisan deal without an assurance the reconciliation package will succeed.

Already in the House there are rumblings of both the far-left and more temperate Democrats concerned over the two track approach, due to being either not radical enough or simply too radical.

Manchin, therefore, worries Biden and the Democrat leadership, knowing that losing just one vote in the Senate or a few in the House, would sink the spending proposal drawn by Sanders.

Manchin found himself in a similar spot in March, when he ultimately held out during the coronavirus package negotiations to secure wins for his state in exchange for his pinch-pin vote that won the day for Biden’s schemes.



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