OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
Joe Biden is facing a significant roadblock in his fervor to have Congress pass his massive economic agenda of over $3 trillion.
But Biden is not giving up and, on Friday, he appeared to respond to an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal from West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in which he said he would not vote to pass the bill, Fox News reported.
“The second thing that has to happen in September is for the Congress, the House and Senate, to finish passing my economic agenda so that we can keep up the historic momentum we’ve been building,” he said.
“It’s about investing in America’s future. Not about short-term stimulus. That’s not what we’re talking about. These are long-term prosperity we’re talking about,” he said. “Creating millions of good paying jobs for hardworking Americans. It’s about reducing bottlenecks in our economy, about reducing long-term price pressures.”
“We’re going to create millions of good paying jobs. We’re going to ease inflationary pressure,” he insisted.
The points Biden made closely resemble the remarks in the op-ed made by Manchin in which he expressed the reasons he opposes the bill as it stands.
“I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs,” the senator said.
“This is even more important now as the Social Security and Medicare Trustees have sounded the alarm that these life-saving programs will be insolvent and benefits could start to be reduced as soon as 2026 for Medicare and 2033, a year earlier than previously projected, for Social Security,” he said.
“Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation. A pause is warranted because it will provide more clarity on the trajectory of the pandemic, and it will allow us to determine whether inflation is transitory or not,” Manchin said. “While some have suggested this reconciliation legislation must be passed now, I believe that making budgetary decisions under artificial political deadlines never leads to good policy or sound decisions. I have always said if I can’t explain it, I can’t vote for it, and I can’t explain why my Democratic colleagues are rushing to spend $3.5 trillion.”
“An overheating economy has imposed a costly “inflation tax” on every middle- and working-class American. At $28.7 trillion and growing, the nation’s debt has reached record levels. Over the past 18 months, we’ve spent more than $5 trillion responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises,” Manchin said. “Those who believe such concerns are overstated should ask themselves: What do we do if the pandemic gets worse under the next viral mutation? What do we do if there is a financial crisis like the one that led to the Great Recession? What if we face a terrorist attack or major international conflict? How will America respond to such crises if we needlessly spend trillions of dollars today?”
This continues an intraparty war between the progressives like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and moderates like Sens. Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
“Our country needs these investments,” Biden argued. “I’ve seen no evidence to suggest it’s going to cost jobs or cost, I mean, you know. And now we need Congress to finish the job, to come through for the American people.”
Presuming all Republicans in the Senate vote against the reconciliation bill and with a 50-50 Senate the Democrats cannot have even one member of their caucus vote no.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com