Manchin said that with just a few concessions, it would have been possible to get some Republicans on the COVID relief package that passed the Senate this weekend on a party-line vote. And he said he’ll block Biden’s next big package — $2 trillion to $4 trillion for climate and infrastructure — if Republicans aren’t included.
“I will punish everyone if the Republicans refuse to play.” – that makes no sense whatsoever.
- “I’m not going to do it through reconciliation,” which requires only a simple majority, like the COVID stimulus, Manchin said. “I am not going to get on a bill that cuts them out completely before we start trying.”
- Asked if he believes it’s possible to get 10 Republicans on the infrastructure package, which could yield the 60 votes needed under normal Senate rules, Manchin said: “I sure do.”
It’s absurd on the face of it. The Republicans are repurposing the Obama playbook: block everything and then moan that under the Democrats, nothing is done.
Think about this:
Tiger Beat’s morning email thingie (emphasis theirs, of course):
N.Y. Mag’s Jonathan Chait was perhaps the most bullish about what Manchin’s latest filibuster musings might portend, tweeting during the Harry and Meghan special Sunday night: “This interview is mind-blowing! I’m referring, of course, to Joe Manchin’s interview about the filibuster.” The understated headline on his take: “Joe Manchin Says He Might Reform the Filibuster and Save American Democracy.” Wrote Chait: “Ironically, it is the misleading nature of pro-filibuster propaganda that has enabled Manchin to co-opt its themes. Filibuster advocates present the device as a requirement to allow ‘debate,’ likening it to a kind of free-speech right for senators. …
“In fact, the modern filibuster inhibits rather than enables debate. So Manchin can propound on the need to allow consideration of bills, and permit Republicans to speak on them extensively, because those are not the actual goals of filibuster supporters. The real purpose of the mechanism is to impose a 60-vote requirement (one that has already been eliminated for executive-branch appointments, fiscal policy, and judges).”
Kill the filibuster. Kill it dead. Draw and quarter it and scatter the racist remains of that antebellum relic to the four corners of the earth and salt the sanctified ground before burial in an unmarked grave. There probably should be garlic, too.