Joe Manchin is the gift that keeps on giving. Well, at least if you are a Republican hoping someone holds the line against Joe Biden’s “build back better” agenda.
The West Virginia senator has already demanded (and will get) deep cuts to the formerly $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. He’s also stood in the gap against some of the more harmful climate change and entitlement provisions. To continue that theme, he nuked another major Biden priority today.
As RedState reported, the progressives have been pushing new reporting requirements to snoop on bank accounts with at least $10,000 in outflows over the course of a year. That would mean the IRS could snoop on the financials of what I would assume is the majority of adult Americans. The administration has claimed that the provision targets billionaires, but that’s ludicrous given the minimums. The plan was also meant to provide more government tax receipts to supposedly make the reconciliation deficit-neutral (LOL).
According to Manchin, that ridiculous, privacy-invading and possibly illegal scheme is off the table.
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This serves as another gut punch to Biden’s agenda and further culls the progressive wish-list. It also blows a hole in the Democrat attempt to massage the numbers in order to claim the bill is “paid for.” Reconciliation has specific guidelines in regards to adding to the deficit so that could complicate its entire passage.
Maybe that’s the point, though? I’m starting to get the feeling that Manchin really does not want this thing to pass. He wants the infrastructure deal because it’s bipartisan, providing him cover in a red state like West Virginia, but he gains nothing by being a part of Biden’s boondoggle. The more he obstructs, the more likely the entire thing is to collapse. If this isn’t done by the end of October, and that seems unlikely, this will drag into next year. And if this drags into next year, it probably doesn’t get done at all because of the coming election.
Manchin also signaled more coming unrest between him and his ostensibly Democrat allies.
That’s not something you want to hear from the guy holding the deciding vote on your agenda if you are a Democrat. Manchin has previously denied he’s got a plan to go independent, but it sure does feel like he’s keeping that option on the table, doesn’t it?
This could be another attempt to get the far-left progressives to back off and accept his terms. If they don’t, perhaps he could be pushed to a point where he makes the move. At the very least, Manchin has already announced that he’s fine with none of Biden’s agenda passing. Whether Democrats like it or not, he’s got all the leverage.