One of the remaining, somewhat moderate Democrats serving in the United States Senate is on the hot seat from trying to play both sides of the fence.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been a thorn in the flesh of President Biden by preventing a few of his main agenda items from passing.
Along with Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), they have been the only 2 mavericks who have not agreed to support spending trillions of more dollars, especially with the nation in a recession.
With the Senate split 50/50, unanimity in the party would be required for Majority Leader Schumer to get any partisan legislation to Biden’s deck with zero Republican support.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier confronted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday for purportedly flip-flopping on his promise not to support legislation that is expected to further drive up inflation.
During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Baier repeatedly confronted Manchin with his own words, underscoring how the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” violates Manchin’s past positions.
In 2010, for example, Manchin said, “I don’t think during a time of recession you mess with any of the taxes or increase any taxes.” Manchin reiterated those comments just last month.
Thus Baier told Manchin, “Now technically we’re in a recession, and technically, according to multiple different organizations, this bill does raise taxes,” citing analysis from the Tax Foundation and Americans for Tax Reform.
In response, Manchin asserted the bill does not raise taxes, but closes tax loopholes only. In fact, Manchin directly challenged all assertions that the bill either levies new taxes or will exacerbate inflation.
“They’re wrong; it does not raise taxes,” Manchin said.
On inflation, Baier reminded Manchin that he said last March that the America Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 pandemic relief bill would not overheat the economy and trigger an inflation crisis. But that is precisely what happened.
“Why should Americans believe you now when you say that this bill will not exacerbate inflation?” Baier asked.
“I’ll make sure I don’t make that mistake again,” Manchin responded, suggesting he knows he was wrong. “Bottom line, I’ll make sure I didn’t make that mistake again … that’s why I was extra cautious right now.”
That is when Baier confronted Manchin with an analysis from the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which predicted the bill “would very slightly increase inflation until 2024 and decrease inflation thereafter.”
The analysis also noted its “estimates are statistically indistinguishable from zero, thereby indicating low confidence that the legislation will have any impact on inflation.”
Manchin responded that he “respectfully disagrees” with the analysis, but did not explain why he believes it is wrong.
Even as a staunch conservative, I have always thought of Manchin as a man who kept his work, a good old West Virginian.
Well with this massive, hypocritical flip-flop, I can no longer say that I believe him to be a man of integrity after all.
It’s time for West Virginians to replace Manchin, with a Republican, in the state that had the largest margin of victory for former President Trump in 2020.
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