He’s still the same old senator he used to be*
Joe Manchin on infrastructure
The latest from West Virginia’s Democratic senator
NEW: Manchin returns from his meeting w/ Biden, tells us he made “no commitments” to the President on the reconciliation package.— Julie Tsirkin (@JulieNBCNews) September 28, 2021
“There was no commitments made at all,” he said when asked about a top-line number. “Just good negotiations, talking about the needs of our country.” pic.twitter.com/954u4exHIc
What about West Virginia, Senator?
The “needs of our government”? How about the “needs of West Virginia”? From yesterday’s Huffington Post:
The Legislation Joe Manchin Is Holding Up Would Help His State — A Lot
With the subheading:
West Virginia struggles with the exact problems that Biden’s spending bill aims to fix.
And it is not like it isn’t popular with West Virginia’s citizens. From today's Guardian:
In deep red West Virginia, Biden’s $3.5tn spending proposal is immensely popular
Working-class people – even Trump voters – understand the Build Back Better plan will benefit them
(Note -- both of these articles are excellent.)
Okay, Manchin thinks it's too much money. What do the voters think?
Politico-Morning Consult poll:— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2021
56% of Americans support the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Just 27% oppose.
57% believe the $1 trillion price tag for the bill is either the right amount or too *little* to spend.
So why isn't Manchin supporting this?
Our state needs and approves of a massive infrastructure bill but here Senator Manchin only wants to talk about West Virginians' sense of entitlement. As CNN's Sahil Kapur explained:
MANCHIN on $3.5T bill: "We're just concerned about entitlement mentality versus rewarding mentality and then taking care of those who really can't take care of themselves... there's so much good stuff in there that we’re still working diligently."— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 27, 2021
via @LACaldwellDC @JulieNBCNews
(Manchin also opposed raising the minimum wage for similar reasons.)
Sadly, this may be the current state of U.S. politics:
The entire U.S. political system is currently built around appeasing bad faith actors, who seem to hold all the power despite being in the minority, whether it's Mitch McConnell, Joe Manchin, or Kyrsten Sinema.— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) September 28, 2021
Yes, how depressing.
*Referencing the Eagles appropriately titled “Lyin’ Eyes.” (Regular readers may remember that I've used the song to describe WV's other senator, Shelley Moore Capito.) In either case, the chorus applies.