Something To Watch Very Closely

Politico posted an article today about the election reform bill now making its way through the Senate.

The article reports:

Senate Republicans are set to block Democrats’ sweeping elections and ethics reform bill on Tuesday. Just hours before the vote, Sen. Joe Manchin, the last Democratic holdout, announced he would approve advancing the legislation.

The Senate will vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to consider the legislation, a top priority for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With the bill guaranteed to fail, the path forward is murky at best on an issue that Democrats say they need to resolve before the 2022 midterms. While Manchin’s vote won’t save the bill, the unified Democratic vote will both help the party’s political messaging that the GOP is stonewalling them and likely intensify progressives’ push to end the filibuster.

As I have said before, Joe Manchin only votes against the Democrat agenda when his vote doesn’t count (article here). It is a mistake to rely on him to protect the filibuster or to protect states’ rights in the voting process.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today stating:

Progressive leftists will want Chuck Schumer to get rid of the filibuster and use a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass the “Take Away The Right to Vote” legislation.  However, if the Democrats fail in cheating on a massive scale in 2022, they could lose the Senate and House, and SB1 could be reversed and leave Biden to stand alone vetoing the bill to undo the election takeover.

It’s a calculating game of political scheme and fraud, where the DC elites (both parties) are trying to determine their odds of pulling off the plan while simultaneously keeping the American electorate from seeing what they are doing.   Pelosi has the military defenses around the Capitol prepared to keep back any revolting peasants; but that security only works if the politicians don’t leave DC.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid famously sequestered the Senate in December of 2009 to block any senator from returning to his/her state where they would face the fury of their electorate and likely recant support for Obamacare.  Unfortunately, Senate Majority Chuck Schumer doesn’t have the benefit of the calendar to jail the senators from leaving DC, and simultaneously tensions at home in every state are unseasonably hot.

There will be a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the Senate this week. If the Democrats get what they want, the voters lose. I wouldn’t count on Joe Manchin to save the country,

 

What He Says To The Public vs. What He Says Privately

Red State posted an article yesterday about a recently leaked telephone call by Joe Manchin.

The article reports:

A leaked phone call between Joe Manchin and a political advocacy group reveals the machinations being attempted by the West Virginian senator behind the scenes. Not only is Manchin signaling he’s open to abolishing the filibuster, but he’s also targeting specific Republicans to try to get the so-called January 6th commission passed.

…Regardless, the implications here are huge. If Manchin is now scheming to blow up the filibuster unless he gets Republican buy-in on Democrat priorities, that puts everything in a very precarious position, leaving Sinema as the last line of defense for Republicans. And while I generally like Sinema, she’s still a Democrat. Manchin’s position seems to be “let me cut your head off or I’ll cut your head off.” That’s not good news for a GOP that had been relying on him to hold the line given he’s from the reddest state in the union.

The article concludes:

Whoever leaked this probably did it precisely because they wanted to thwart Manchin’s plan. That’s the silver lining here for Republicans. Will Manchin walk all this back when asked? We’ll find out soon enough. Some reporter is going to be shoving a mic in his face the first chance they get.

Time will tell how reliable Joe Manchin’s statement that he would vote to keep the filiibuster is.

Good News For America

John Hinderaker posted an article today at Power Line Blog about a recent statement by Senator Joe Manchin.

The article reports:

Now that they control Congress, although by the barest of margins, the Democrats can do considerable damage. But for their long dreamt-of power grab–adding more states, packing the Supreme Court, institutionalizing electoral fraud–they need to break the filibuster.

Ending the filibuster would require the votes of all 50 Democratic senators. That has always seemed unlikely, and yesterday Joe Manchin made it official in an op-ed in a local newspaper. Manchin said that he will not vote for H.R. 1, the Universal Voter Fraud Act, nor will he vote to end the filibuster…

Yesterday Senator Manchin posted an editorial in the Charleston Gazette-Mail explaining his vote.

Here are some highlights from that article:

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner.

…Unfortunately, we now are witnessing that the fundamental right to vote has itself become overtly politicized. Today’s debate about how to best protect our right to vote and to hold elections, however, is not about finding common ground, but seeking partisan advantage. Whether it is state laws that seek to needlessly restrict voting or politicians who ignore the need to secure our elections, partisan policymaking won’t instill confidence in our democracy — it will destroy it.

As such, congressional action on federal voting rights legislation must be the result of both Democrats and Republicans coming together to find a pathway forward or we risk further dividing and destroying the republic we swore to protect and defend as elected officials.

Democrats in Congress have proposed a sweeping election reform bill called the For the People Act. This more than 800-page bill has garnered zero Republican support. Why? Are the very Republican senators who voted to impeach Trump because of actions that led to an attack on our democracy unwilling to support actions to strengthen our democracy? Are these same senators, whom many in my party applauded for their courage, now threats to the very democracy we seek to protect?

The truth, I would argue, is that voting and election reform that is done in a partisan manner will all but ensure partisan divisions continue to deepen.

…I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster. For as long as I have the privilege of being your U.S. senator, I will fight to represent the people of West Virginia, to seek bipartisan compromise no matter how difficult and to develop the political bonds that end divisions and help unite the country we love.

American democracy is something special, it is bigger than one party, or the tweet-filled partisan attack politics of the moment. It is my sincere hope that all of us, especially those who are privileged to serve, remember our responsibility to do more to unite this country before it is too late.

Interesting. I don’t mean to by cynical (but I am good at it), but considering the pressure Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema have been under to support the For the People Act, it may be that both of them have put the interests of America above their party or personal interest. If that is the case, that is wonderful. But there is another possible scenario. It is quite possible that they are not the only Democrats who don’t support the For the People Act. In that case, their statements may be an excuse for the Democrat leadership not to bring the vote to the floor. In that case, no one is on the record for supporting it. Also, Senator Manchin is a Senator from a state that voted 68 percent for President Trump in 2020. If the bill was not going to pass anyway, this puts Senator Manchin in a very positive light. I wonder if he would have voted against it if all of the other Democrats were willing to vote for the bill.

 

When Your Power Grab Gets Slowed

Yesterday National Review posted an article about a recent ruling by the Senate parliamentarian that will put a crimp in the plans of Democrats to use the reconciliation process to pass their radical agenda without Republican support.

The article reports:

The Senate parliamentarian issued a new ruling that would effectively allow Democrats to use automatic budget reconciliation just one more time this year to bypass Republicans to advance President Biden’s progressive agenda. 

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled that a revision to the 2021 budget resolution cannot be automatically discharged from the Senate Budget Committee, according to The Hill. This means that Democrats would need at least one Republican on the 11-11 panel to vote with them if they want to use reconciliation on more than one occasion before the legislative session ends in October.

The bi-partisan talk during the presidential campaign was simply talk. There never was any plan to work with Republicans unless the Republicans agreed to everything the Democrats wanted. To Democrats the definition of unity is “when everyone agrees with me.”

The article notes:

The ruling makes it more likely that Democrats will pursue a fresh fiscal 2022 budget to bypass Republicans if infrastructure negotiations fail, according to Bloomberg.

The news comes as Biden said on Tuesday that June “should be a month of action on Capitol Hill” and that while pundits on TV may ask why he has not done more to pass his legislative priorities that it is because he “only has a majority of effectively four votes in the house and a tie in the Senate with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends,” likely referring to Senators Joe Manchin (D., W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.).

During a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki attempted to rewrite Biden’s remarks, claiming that the president was only commenting on TV punditry.

“I can tell you that sometimes these conversations can be oversimplified. TV isn’t always made for complex conversations about policymaking,” she said. “What the president was simply conveying was that his threshold, his litmus test is not to see eye-to-eye on every single detail of every issue and he doesn’t with Senator Sinema and Senator Manchin.”

“He believes there’s an opportunity to work together to make progress to find areas of common ground even if you have areas of disagreement,” Psaki said.

However, Republicans have criticized Biden and his party for doing little to work with the GOP to find common ground. Democrats used budget reconciliation earlier this year to pass the president’s COVID-19 response package with a simple majority and without Republican support.

“He knows well having served 36 years in the Senate that sometimes it’s not a straight line to victory or success, sometimes it takes more time and he’s open to many paths forward,” she said. “I don’t think he was intending to convey anything more than a little bit of commentary on TV punditry.” 

Keep your eye on the filibuster. If the filibuster survives, we may get through the Biden administration without bankrupting the country.

Let’s See If This Holds

On Wednesday, The New York Post posted an article about a recent pledge by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.

The article reports:

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has pledged that under “no circumstance” will he vote to eliminate the filibuster amid a push by his other members of his party to reform the rule.

“I have said it before and will say it again to remove any shred of doubt,” Manchin, a moderate, wrote in a op-ed published in The Washington Post on Wednesday.

“There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” he wrote.

“The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”

Removing the filibuster allows the majority party to pass legislation without bothering to consult or compromise with the minority party.

The thing to remember here is that Senators come up for re-election every six years. If the Democrats in the Senate ram through policies that hurt the average American, they will be in danger of losing their majority. Another thing to remember is that almost two-thirds of the voters in West Virginia voted for President Trump. They may not react too favorably to a Senator who participates in the undoing of the Trump administration policies that were successful.

 

 

I Know The Time Of This Is Just An Incredible Coincidence

The majority that the Democrats hold in Washington, D.C., is not large. Particularly in the Senate, the Democrats are forced to attempt to get at least one Republican Senator to go along with their ideas. So far the filibuster has prevented some very bad laws from passing the Senate. That is the reason the Democrats are trying to make the filibuster go away. In order to do that, they would need every Democrat to vote for removal of the filibuster. The two suspected holdouts in the vote would probably be Senator Sinema of Arizona and Senator Manchin of West Virginia. Both have expressed negative opinions on ending the filibuster in the past. But Washington is a place where deals are made and things are traded.

Yesterday Fox News reported the following:

President Biden has picked the wife of an extremely influential U.S. senator for a federal commission post, the White House announced Friday. 

Biden nominated Gayle Conelly Manchin to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission, an economic development partnership with 13 states designed to boost investment in the Appalachian Region.

Manchin is an educator, past president of West Virginia’s State Board of Education and the former first lady of West Virginia.

The article notes:

With Democrats holding the slimmest of majorities with a 50-50 split and Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote, Manchin’s influence in the Senate has grown tremendously.

As a moderate from a red state, Manchin has openly pushed back on some of the Democrats’ boldest ideas, including the $15 minimum wage, eliminating the filibuster and far-reaching gun control legislation. His resistance has forced concessions.

It will be interesting to see if Senator Manchin continues to support keeping the filibuster in place.

Voting As A Moderate Only When It Doesn’t Matter

One America News posted an article today about the vote on the Senate vote on the coronavirus relief package. The article notes that Senator Joe Manchin voted for the relief package despite the fact that he has stated in the past he would not support any bills based exclusively on his party affiliation. It is becoming obvious that Senator Manchin votes with the Democrats when it matters. He only votes with the Republicans when his vote has no impact on the outcome.

The article notes:

He also claimed to oppose partisan politics and called for a new era of bipartisanship. However, on Saturday, Manchin voted in favor of the $1.9 trillion bill, which passed the Senate in a 50-to-49 vote along party lines.

…Reports have also found Manchin allegedly only voted to support the stimulus package because the bill was changed to his liking and due to political pressure by the Biden administration.

The Covid Relief Bill is a bloated nightmare.

The Epoch Times reported the following yesterday:

Democrats rejected all but three Republican amendments to the $1.9 trillion relief bill, which cleared the Senate in a partisan vote on March 6.

One Republican amendment to be adopted as part of the marathon vote-a-rama session that lasted more than 24 hours was amendment #1092 on reducing the unemployment insurance plus-up from $400 to $300, introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Portman’s amendment, which provided the extra jobless benefit until July 18, was short-lived, however. About an hour later, Democrats passed their own related amendment, which overrode Portman’s by extending the benefits through Sept. 6.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted with all 49 Republican senators present to approve Portman’s amendment, although he later voted with his Democratic colleagues on the superseding amendment that additionally made the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free for some households.

The article at The Epoch Times concludes:

The Senate ultimately approved the $1.9 trillion stimulus package with all 50 Democrats voting for, and all present Republicans voting against. Alaska’s Dan Sullivan had to leave to go home for the funeral of his father-in-law.

The bill, also known as the American Rescue Plan or H.R. 1319, was approved by the House on Feb. 27 by a vote of 219–212, with all Republicans and two Democrats voting against it.

The bill will be returned to the House for reconciliation, which is expected to happen early this week.

This is a bad bill and will probably not be improved by the reconciliation process.

Hopefully There Are Some People In Congress With Common Sense

Just the News is reporting that West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senator Susan Collins have both stated that they will vote against the confirmation of President Biden’s pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget – Neera Tanden. I need to say here that generally I believe an elected President is entitled to his picks for his cabinet, but some of President Biden’s picks are well outside the political mainstream.

The article reports:

Tanden is president of the liberal public policy research and advocacy group Center for American Progress, founded by former President Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

Her statement also echoed Manchin’s concerns: “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency. Her past actions have demonstrated exactly the kind of animosity that President Biden has pledged to transcend.”

Collins also pointed out that Taden’ decision to delete more than a thousand tweets in the days before her nomination was announced “raises concerns about her commitment to transparency.”

Said Manchin: “I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination.”

Manchin’s “no” vote means Senate Democrats need at least one Republican to vote in favor of Tanden to get her nomination through the chamber.

Unfortunately there may actually be a least one squishy Republican who will vote for her confirmation.

A Moderate That May Not Be So Moderate

Townhall posted an article today about West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Senator Manchin is currently seen as a possible brake on some of the more radical policies being discussed by the Biden regime. A recent remark during an interview might cast a shadow on that idea.

The article reports:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has become the moderate Democrat with much more sense than his colleagues. He repeatedly said he thought impeaching President Donald Trump, for a second time, was “ill-advised,” especially since there are not 19 Republicans in the Senate that would move to convict. But now the West Virginia senator has a suggestion: using the 14th Amendment to remove Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) from office.

“Let me read you what the 14th Amendment, Section 3 says. ‘No person shall be a senator or representative in Congress who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same.’ Would you support, senator, the removal of Sen. Hawley and Sen. Cruz, through the 14th Amendment Section 3?” PBS News’ Margaret Hoover asked. 

‘Well, they should look – absolutely. I mean, basically, that should be a consideration. And he should you know, he understands that, Ted’s a very bright individual and I get along fine with Ted. But what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities,” Manchin explained. “Listen to the conversations that people have had, listen to some of the congress people that are still speaking, you know? Listen, around the country, people in different law, in elected positions, these people should be held accountable, because it’s sedition.”

Manchin went on to explain that the United States was formed because our Founding Fathers were tired of living under the tyrannical rule of King George. They believed in a republic so much that they “gave up everything” in pursuit of this new adventure. In his eyes, Cruz and Hawley’s objections to certifying the election results went against the Founding Fathers’ intentions and beliefs.

First of all, how did Senators Hawley and Cruz engage in insurrection? Was it because they contested the 2020 presidential election?

Might I remind you (from Fox News December 31, 2020)

The last three times a Republican has been elected president — Trump in 2016 and George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004 — Democrats in the House have brought objections to the electoral votes in states the GOP nominee won. In early 2005 specifically, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., along with Rep. Stephanie Tubbs, D-Ohio, objected to Bush’s 2004 electoral votes in Ohio.

That forced the chambers to leave their joint session and debate separately for two hours on whether to reject Ohio’s electoral votes. Neither did. But the objection by Boxer and Tubbs serves as a modern precedent for what is likely to happen in Congress on Jan. 6.

Notably, some Democrats lauded Boxer’s move at the time, including Durbin himself.

If Democrats want to bring Americans together and heal our divide, this is not the way to do it.