As of November 1 (according to Real Clear Politics), President Biden’s approval rating is 43 percent approval and 57.1 disapproval. Real Clear Politics also notes that 63.3 percent of Americans believe that America is headed in the wrong direction while 28.8 percent of Americans believe that America is headed in the right direction. It is quite possible that Senator Joe Manchin is well aware of these numbers.
Yesterday The Epoch Times reported the following:
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) called on the House to stop playing “political games” and to move ahead with a floor vote on the Senate-passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Since August, progressives in the House have held the bipartisan infrastructure bill (BIF) hostage in an attempt to compel votes for the reconciliation bill. These progressives have warned that they will not vote for the moderate-preferred infrastructure bill without passage of a budget that progressives find acceptable.
Specifically, these progressives have sought to use the threat to compel Manchin and his colleague Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), who were key elements in bipartisan negotiations over the BIF.
But Manchin warned progressives that they would not achieve that result by continuing to hold the bill hostage. Manchin said that he will need more time to go over the new budget deal before agreeing to vote for it, pushing Democrats even further off schedule in passing both bills.
“In all my years of public service, I’ve never seen anything like this,” Manchin fumed. He noted that even after two visits to the U.S. Capitol by President Joe Biden asking House Democrats to support the BIF, there is “still no action.”
The article concludes:
“To be clear, I will not support the reconciliation bill without knowing how the bill will impact our debt and our economy and our country. We won’t know that until we work through the text.”
Until that time comes, Manchin urged the House to move ahead with the infrastructure bill, noting the bill’s rarely-seen bipartisan passage through the Senate. He emphasized again: “Holding that bill hostage is not going to work to get my support [for] what you want.”
Manchin said that he is open to supporting a bill that “helps our country move forward” but is equally open to voting against a bill that “hurts our country.”
“Let’s work together … on getting a sensible reconciliation package that really strengthens our nation, makes us better, and leads the world,” concluded Manchin.
Keep in mind that in the past Senator Manchin has caved to the whims of the Democrats in the Senate. He is not a reliable vote to block the progressives, but the current polls may keep him on the right side of things in this instance.