A key Democrat senator appears to be leaning toward stalling voting on Democrat President Joe Biden’s massive $3.5 trillion social-spending bill that has been largely criticized as being a partisan wish list for the Democrat Party.
“Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is privately saying he thinks Congress should take a ‘strategic pause’ until 2022 before voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social-spending package,” Axios reported. “Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.”
The report said that any delay from Manchin, who is not part of the far-left-wing of the Democrat Party, could “imperil House passage of the separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Pelosi has promised to pass by Sept. 27.”
Biden reportedly called Manchin earlier this year and told him regarding Democrats’ massive coronavirus stimulus bill, “If you don’t come along, you’re really f***ing me.”
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who has surprisingly been more moderate than most ever expected her to be, is also reportedly opposed to Biden’s massive bill, although she’s not as public about it.
Biden’s attempt to pass the $3.5 trillion bill comes as inflation has skyrocketed under his leadership following trillions in spending that has taken place in a mere matter of months with Democrats in control of the federal government.
Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), House Majority Whip, told CNN on Sunday that “sometimes, you have to kind of stop the clock to get to the goal.”
“And so it may be 3.5,” Clyburn added. “It may be close to that, or it may be closer to something else.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a far-left socialist, complained on CBS News on Sunday morning that the $3.5 trillion was way too low as the far-left was already forced to cut back from the $6 trillion bill that they wanted.
“Look, right now what we are doing is we are engaging with the House and the Senate,” Sanders said. “It is a complicated proposal. All I am telling you is the $3.5 trillion is much too low. A compromise has already been made; an agreement has been made.”
Manchin wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this summer that he wanted to pause the bill because “an overheating economy has imposed a costly ‘inflation tax’ on every middle- and working-class American.”
Manchin wrote in-part:
While some have suggested this reconciliation legislation must be passed now, I believe that making budgetary decisions under artificial political deadlines never leads to good policy or sound decisions. I have always said if I can’t explain it, I can’t vote for it, and I can’t explain why my Democratic colleagues are rushing to spend $3.5 trillion. Another reason to pause: We must allow for a complete reporting and analysis of the implications a multitrillion-dollar bill will have for this generation and the next. Such a strategic pause will allow every member of Congress to use the transparent committee process to debate: What should we fund, and what can we simply not afford?
I, for one, won’t support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs. This is even more important now as the Social Security and Medicare Trustees have sounded the alarm that these life-saving programs will be insolvent and benefits could start to be reduced as soon as 2026 for Medicare and 2033, a year earlier than previously projected, for Social Security. Establishing an artificial $3.5 trillion spending number and then reverse-engineering the partisan social priorities that should be funded isn’t how you make good policy.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.