Manchin and Sanders - kindred spirits?
An additional perspective on yesterday's omnibus funding vote
You may have seen this morning's front page article in the Intelligencer explaining how our local legislators voted on the omnibus funding deal. Here's a bit more perspective on the senate vote (especially Joe Manchin's) from diarist Liberty Equality Fraternity Trees at Daily Kos:
Early yesterday morning, the House passed the end-of-year omnibus bill. Although it, like any omnibus bill, had some positive provisions, it contained many harmful ones, such as a repeal of the ban on crude oil exports, a modified version of the surveillance bill CISA, and a provision blocking the IRS, SEC, and White House from issuing rules requiring the disclosure of political spending by corporations. . . .
After the House finished its vote, message of its passage was relayed to the Senate, which proceeded with a sequence of four votes on the bundled package of the $1.2 trillion omnibus bill and the $680 billion (unfunded) tax extenders bill.
All of Joe Manchin's votes, including the procedural ones, were against the bill. The various votes prior to the final vote were mostly procedural (the diarist explains the votes) with the final vote passing the package. Here is Joe Manchin sounding like Bernie Sanders (the words in bold were not included in the Intelligencer's article -- Joe is, after all, one of their favorites):
What is most disappointing, this legislation ignores the needs of hard-working West Virginia families, who already bear too much of the tax burden, and elevates the interests of large corporations and the wealthy. Rather than extending tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, we could be investing this $680 billion to give $5,600 refunds to each household in West Virginia, investing an additional $140 billion to double our U.S. border security, reversing defense cuts by $405 billion, making college debt-free for our West Virginia students or increasing funding for our infrastructure.
The diarist summarizes Democratic opposition to the omnibus funding bill:
However, of the members of the Democratic caucus who voted NO, only Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders were genuine NO votes. The other had voted for cloture and against the motion to table, showing that they wanted it to pass—but just didn’t want their name attached to it.
Interesting -- the most liberal Democrat and the most conservative Democrat were the only senate Democrats to vote against the funding bill -- and for some of the same reasons.