Not Everyone Wants Roe v. Wade To Stay In Place

One of the things that seems to be getting lost in the debate over Roe v. Wade is what the consequences of overturning the law would be. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not make abortion illegal in America. Overturning Roe v. Wade will allow every state to set its own abortion guidelines. It may be that abortion may be illegal in some states, but American women will still have access to abortion. It may not be as convenient, and possibly that will cause women to rethink their options. Also, overturning Roe v. Wade will have a negative impact on the campaign coffers of most Democrats. That may be the reason this fight has gotten so nasty. Some of the Democrats in Congress want abortion up until birth to be legal in every state. Attempting to get a law passed to codify that did not go well.

On Wednesday, Townhall reported the following:

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has repeatedly shown his ineptitude when it comes to leading Democrats in the upper chamber, and he did so again in spectacular fashion on Wednesday afternoon. In what he seems to think was a grand gesture to prove his party’s commitment to a woman’s (birthing person’s?) right to kill her unborn child only put Democrats on the record supporting a bill that’s more radical than Roe ever was.

After the unprecedented leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion signaling that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, Schumer jumped into action and called for the passage of a bill to supposedly “codify” Roe in federal law. But he once again failed to do the math among his own caucus or the Senate as a whole before holding what became nothing but a failed show vote to prove Democrats support radical abortion rights that go beyond what even most pro-abortion Americans support.

The vote to break a Republican filibuster and move to the final vote on the “Women’s Health Protection Act” came down 51-49, with every Democrat but one voting to move ahead — Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined all the Republicans to block the legislation from moving forward.

The article details the Senate bill:

In summary, the Democratic bill would make elective abortions legal across the entire country for all nine months of pregnancy (with “mental health” loopholes eliminating any real limitations), eliminating virtually all existing state-level restrictions (including lopsidedly popular ones), gutting conscience protections for healthcare workers who don’t want to participate in abortions, allowing non-doctors to facilitate the abortions, and likely forcing taxpayers to finance all of it.  Short of endorsing post-birth infanticide or instituting CCP-style compulsory abortions, it’s hard to imagine a more extreme piece of legislation on this issue.  Dressing this up as “codifying Roe” is astoundingly dishonest, yet it’s mindlessly — or perhaps not so mindlessly — repeated by journalists, ad nauseam.

I suspect Senator Schumer knew that the bill would fail. What the bill probably did was energize that small fringe of the Democrat party that supports unlimited abortion. I will admit that I have a hard time understanding why some people are fighting so hard for the right to kill a baby.

A Bridge Too Far

On Tuesday, The Hill reported that Senator Joe Manchin has stated that he does not support President Biden’s plan to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires, which would set a new precedent by taxing the value an asset accrues in theory before it is actually sold and converted into cash.

The article quotes Senator Manchin:

“You can’t tax something that’s not earned. Earned income is what we’re based on,” he told The Hill. “There’s other ways to do it. Everybody has to pay their fair share.”

“Everybody has to pay their fair share, that’s for sure. But unrealized gains is not the way to do it, as far as I’m concerned,” he added.

Manchin’s opposition means Biden’s proposal is likely dead only a day after the White House unveiled it.

It could be significantly restructured to avoid taxing unrealized gains, which would pose the big challenge of trying to make up the lost revenues.

The article notes:

The problem with taxing just the regular income of billionaires is that many of the nation’s richest individuals, such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, have been able to pay little or nothing in income tax by not declaring income.

Instead, the ultra-rich often can take out loans secured by the value of their assets to finance their lavish lifestyles.

“Here’s what they do. They go to their accountant. They tell their accountant, ‘Make sure I don’t make any income, any salary.’ And then they say, ‘Make sure I can buy, borrow and die.’ And nobody knew anything about that years ago, and now people are pretty up on it,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has announced his own proposal to tax the unrealized gains of billionaires.

Wyden says that imposing a minimum 20 percent tax on billionaires is about making sure they pay a similar percentage of their wealth in taxes as middle-class Americans.

Raising taxes does not generate revenue–lowering taxes generates revenue. All that raising taxes does is give Washington bureaucrats more money and thus more power. The Democrats need to study the Laffer Curve.

It’s Not Dead Yet

On Sunday, Breitbart reported that the White House and Senator Joe Manchin have resumed discussions of the “Build Back Better” Bill (also known as the Build Back Broke Bill).

The article reports:

According to Axios, sources confirmed that the senator has reportedly engaged with the White House “on the climate and child care provisions” in the president’s signature piece of legislation “if the White House removes the enhanced child tax credit from the $1.75 trillion package — or dramatically lowers the income caps for eligible families.”

The article concludes:

“The fight for Build Back Better is too important to give up,” press secretary Jen Psaki said. “We will find a way to move forward next year.”

Senate Democrats have reportedly doubled their efforts to get Manchin on board with the bill, believing its passage will improve their chances in the 2022 midterm elections.

“The Senate Democratic Caucus sees salvaging the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better package as key to boosting the party’s chances in this fall’s midterms, especially as President Biden’s popularity sags in the polls,” said Axios in a separate report.

One senior Senate Democrat aide said the holidays likely cooled everyone off, allowing for more negotiations to proceed.

Senator Manchin has claimed that his objection to the bill is that it will fuel inflation (which it will). The article noted that last months inflation reading from the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 6.8 for the year. The next Consumer Price Index will come out on January 12.

According to the CPI Inflation Calculator:

Elections matter.

 

 

The Perfect Comeback

I am not ready to say that Senator Manchin has killed the Build Back Better Bill. That remains to be seen. He has at least killed it until after Christmas. However, President Biden does not seem to be dealing with the possibility that the bill might be dead.

On Friday, Red State posted an article about a statement released by the White House regarding the Build Back Better Bill.

The article reports:

Neither the media nor Joe Biden seems to be able to deal with the simple fact that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has always been clear that he had issues with the Build Back Better (BBB) bill, from various provisions to the price tag of the whole monstrosity.

As we noted earlier, the AP chastised Manchin, claiming he was the “single senator” standing in the way of the Biden Administration’s grand plans. How to have bias and untruth there, all wrapped up in a fake news package. Then CNN analyst Kirsten Powers suggested it would be better for Joe Biden if Manchin left the Democrats so that Biden wouldn’t be blamed for not uniting all the Democrats — a truly strange take, and not ultimately helpful to the Democrats.

But the worst reaction was that of Joe Biden himself. The BBB imploded after the CBO score came in and laid out how much the true cost of the bill would be with all the social programs properly scored out over 10 years. It wasn’t even close to the number that Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been pitching of around $1.75 trillion. Manchin said that was “very sobering,” and the reports were that he and Biden were far apart. That’s what resulted in the BBB being put off and essentially killed.

Now, Biden has released a statement where he mentions Manchin three times and falsely claims that Manchin had agreed with him on a number.

The article quotes some of President Biden’s statement:

‘In these discussions, Senator Manchin has reiterated his support for Build Back Better funding at the level of the framework plan I announced in September,’ he said.

‘I believe that we will bridge our differences and advance the Build Back Better plan, even in the face of fierce Republican opposition.’

The article also quotes Senator Manchin’s response:

Manchin is a very genteel fellow, but his response to Biden’s statement, for him, seemed perturbed. “The president put out a statement. It’s his statement, not mine,” Manchin said. That’s probably as close as Manchin will politely come to calling Joe Biden a liar. It also is a comment as to where they are at this point — which is not anywhere close to an agreement.

Let’s hope Senator Manchin continues to hold his ground as the media and the Democrats trash him for doing the right thing.

I Really Love This Idea

On Thursday, The New York Sun posted an editorial by Larry Kudlow about the Federal Reserve.

The editorial states:

Can we please get a Federal Reserve with a backbone? Here are a couple thoughts on today’s wussy Fed announcement that it is going to move faster on tapering bond purchases and there might be three little bitty rate hikes next year. And, oh yeah, Jay Powell told the press conference he was confident inflation would drop to two percent by the end of next year.

Wanna bet? On that bet, I’m taking the under. Know who the best inflation forecaster in the country is? Senator Manchin. Numero uno. I don’t even know if he talks to economists, but since last winter when the $2 trillion Democrat so-called relief package was implemented, Joe Manchin has been warning about inflation.

That’s why he has argued consistently all year that President Biden’s big government socialist bill should be paused until inflation is clearly falling. Which it is not. CPI up 7 percent, PPI up 10 percent, and today we got another whopper, with an 11.7 percent rise in import prices. How about that?

Joe Manchin, by the way, in his original memo to Senator Schumer, called last summer for the end of quantitative easing.

Mr. Manchin makes me feel proud to be a former Democrat, as were both of my presidential bosses — Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

The editorial continues:

Finally, I have another idea for a new Fed chairman if Joe Manchin won’t take the job. How about Elon Musk? Time Magazine’s man of the year. How can I say such an outrageous thing? Several reasons. I worked with him several times in the White house and he’s very smart and savvy.

The mere fact that socialist Senator Warren is attacking him for not paying his “fair share” of taxes is by itself a fabulous endorsement of Mr. Musk’s philosophy, business prowess.

Am I saying anybody Mrs. Warren opposes gets my stamp of approval? Yes. I’m tired of her left-wing progressive woke whining. And her desires to tax and regulate anything that moves in business and the economy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Musk, who’s the biggest E-V car seller in the country, has said publicly he does not want E-V auto or battery subsidies from the federal government. Indeed, he has come out against the entire reckless tax, spend, and regulate Biden policies.

Unlike GM and the unionist car-makers, Mr. Musk is non-union and will not put his nose into the public trough.

My kind of guy. I doubt if he ever talks to economists. That’s probably why he’s such a good conservative, libertarian thinker.

And incidentally, Mr. Musk has been selling about $3 billion worth of stock at the prevailing capitalist gains tax rate of 23.8%. The Musk stock sale would generate $714 million of revenues to the federal government.

Mr. Kudlow also notes that the Federal Reserve is continuing Quantitative Easing, the practice of buying up the debt and pumping up the money supply, at a time when inflation is rapidly increasing. We need someone at the Federal Reserve that will put the brakes on that practice so that we can being to rein in inflation.

It May Be That He Is Reading The Tea Leaves

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.

Don’t Count On This To Prevent The Passage Of The Bill

The Epoch Times posted an article today about the ongoing negotiations among the Democrats about their massive spending bill. We have been hearing for months that Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will save us from this bill. It is possible that Senator Sinema will vote against it, but don’t bet money on Senator Manchin. Historically he only votes against the Democrats when it doesn’t matter.

The article reports:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has come out against a revenue scheme proposed by his party that would have allowed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to gather information on the inflows and outflows of American citizens’ bank accounts.

The measure initially came to light as a part of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. In an attempt to head off concerns from moderates, Democratic leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers have desperately marketed the bill as being completely paid for with no substantial effect on the deficit or national debt.

…Speaking at a Tuesday meeting of the Economic Club in Washington, Manchin vehemently opposed the program.

Manchin agreed that the IRS should be somewhat strengthened. Under the reconciliation bill, insisted Manchin, “The IRS is going to be able to do the job that they’re supposed to be doing.”

But Manchin ruled that his party’s snooping scheme did not fall into the category of what the IRS should be doing. “[The IRS was] never able to go into bank accounts,” he noted.

Manchin related a conversation he’d had with President Joe Biden about the program: “I said ‘Mr. President, I don’t know who put this out or how it got screwed up but they said basically, ‘We’re gonna start looking at $600 transactions.’ Even if it’s $10,000, okay, that’s only $800 or $900 [of activity per month].”

Manchin said that he asked the president, “Do you understand how messed up that is? To think that Uncle Sam’s gonna be watching transactions?”

“I said ‘I don’t know how this happened, but this cannot happen. This is screwed up.’”

The article concludes:

The party is now considering a new tax on unrealized capital gains that would target only individuals with $1 billion or more of income per year or individuals with $100 million of income for three consecutive years. Manchin, Sinema, and other moderates have not yet given a nod of approval to this most recent measure.

BEWARE!!! Any tax levied on individuals with $1 billion or more of income will eventually be levied on individuals with $1 or more of income (because individuals with $1 billion or more of income can afford to hire the tax lawyers to avoid the tax) and the government will still want the revenue. Also taxing unrealized capital gains has never been done and is a really bad idea. What happens if those gains become losses? Do you get your tax money back? What a nightmare.

Hopefully This Won’t Work

Yesterday PJ Media posted an article about President Biden’s plans to get his legislative agenda passed.

The article reports:

Joe Biden is telling Democratic leaders in the House and Senate that he will lean on moderate Democrats in order to force passage of change to the Senate’s filibuster. He will also lobby hard to pass the voting rights bill that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he wants to vote on this week.

Biden and the Democrats want a “carve-out” for the electoral power grab known as the “For the People Act.” It would allegedly be a one-time exception to the filibuster and allow for a straight up-or-down vote on the bill, which Democrats mischaracterize as a “voting rights” bill.

Both Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have publicly come out against altering the filibuster and both have expressed doubts about the voter bill without substantial changes. But Biden apparently believes his powers of persuasion will work on them and other centrist Democrats.

Manchin will be a tough nut for Biden to crack. The West Virginia senator has been adamant about opposing any “tweaks” to the filibuster.

Make no mistake–this is a serious threat to our Republic. The U.S. Constitution specifically states that election policies are left to the states–they are not under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Unfortunately at this time, we have no guarantee that the Supreme Court will uphold the Constitution.

Rolling Stone recently reported:

Winning over the two Democrats who’ve declared their opposition to filibuster reform, Sens. Manchin and Sinema, won’t be easy. In April, Manchin wrote in an op-ed that he would not support tweaking or abolishing the filibuster, which he described as a “critical tool” to protect the interests of small and rural states like his. Sinema, for her part, likes to point out how often Democrats used the filibuster when they were in the minority during Donald Trump’s presidency. The filibuster, she wrote in June, “compels moderation and helps protect the country from wild swings between opposing policy poles.”

Yet Sinema has broadly endorsed the need for voting-rights reforms, and Manchin says “inaction is not an option.” Congressional aides and anti-corruption activists who support the For the People Act say Schumer’s strategy has been to give Republicans every opportunity to work with Democrats on a compromise bill, and to allow Manchin the space to lead those negotiations, if only to show that Republicans won’t support any version of pro-democracy reform that Democrats come up with. “We continue to see that the Republicans are not willing to negotiate in good faith on these fundamental issues to protect our democracy,” says Tiffany Muller of End Citizens United.

First of all, we are not a democracy–we are a constitutional republic. If you really want to get to the root of our current political problems, you might want to take a look at the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This opened the door for the corruption we currently see–the illegal campaign money, the earmarks, the runaway spending, the power grabs, etc. The election reforms the Democrats want will make it even easier to cheat.

 

I’m Not Sure I Believe This

Red State posted an article yesterday about a recent statement by Senator Joe Manchin. The Senator wrote an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal  stating that he will not support the $3.5 trillion reconciliation budget proposed by the Democrats. The article notes that he is requesting a pause to decrease the amount of spending in the proposal. Some are celebrating that this is the end of the $3.5 trillion budget, but you need to look at the wording of the statement and the history of Senator Manchin more carefully. Senator Manchin always claims to be a fiscal conservative. He even votes that way WHEN HIS VOTE DOESN’T COUNT. When his vote counts, he votes with the Democrats. He is in an awkward position right now because he represents West Virginia, a mostly conservative state. If he wants to get re-elected in 2022, he has to at least make some conservative noises. I am skeptical as to whether this will be anything other than noise. Chances are that the budget will be cosmetically scaled down and he will vote for it.

The article at Red State includes part of the opinion piece:

The nation faces an unprecedented array of challenges and will inevitably encounter additional crises in the future. Yet some in Congress have a strange belief there is an infinite supply of money to deal with any current or future crisis, and that spending trillions upon trillions will have no negative consequence for the future. I disagree.

An overheating economy has imposed a costly “inflation tax” on every middle- and working-class American. At $28.7 trillion and growing, the nation’s debt has reached record levels. Over the past 18 months, we’ve spent more than $5 trillion responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Now Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt or the inevitability of future crises. Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.

It will be interesting to see how he actually votes. When you think about it, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema hold the keys to Joe Biden’s presidency. As long as the Democrats have 50 votes for the budget reconciliation package, they need Kamala Harris to be the 51st vote to pass the budget. If the Democrats do not have 50 votes, then Kamala Harris is not needed as the 51st vote. Therefore she can be promoted to President if Joe Biden seems to be failing. Stay tuned.

 

As The Infrastructure Bill Inches Forward

There are a few twists and turns in the process of dealing with the infrastructure bill that is before Congress.

The Epoch Times reported yesterday:

Buried in the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” in the U.S. Senate is approval for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to test a new federal tax on every mile driven by individual Americans.

The bill directs Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to establish a pilot program to demonstrate a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee designed “to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.”

The objectives of the pilot program include:

To test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To address the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure and a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

To provide recommendations relating to the adoption and implementation of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.

Although the new tax is described as a pilot program and would initially rely upon “volunteers” representing all 50 states, the infrastructure measure would also require the Treasury Department to establish a mechanism to collect motor vehicle per-mile user fees from the participants.

Make no mistake–this will eventually be a tax on all Americans if it is allowed to go through.

On Monday, Breitbart reported:

Earlier in the year, President Joe Biden nominated Gayle (Manchin – Senator Joe Manchin’s wife) to be the co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. This commission is an economic development partnership involving the federal government and 13 states.

The Washington Times reported that the bill’s language makes the Appalachian Regional Commission “set to receive an additional billion dollars over the next four years. The new funding is set to increase the agency’s federal budget by more than 50% annually.” This year the commission requested $235 million from the taxpayer-funded federal government for their operation funding. That was already a 30 percent increase from the $175 million they received in 2020.

For this to possibly secure the senator’s vote, the commission, where his wife makes $160 thousand annually, is given an additional $200 million annually to focus on projects, which equals one billion dollars from fiscal years 2022 to 2026. The Times added:

ARC’s funding increase is significantly larger than other federal regional commissions are set to receive in the infrastructure package.

Apart from money, the infrastructure package also expands the ARC’s authority to increase broadband internet access by providing grants and “technical assistance.”

The text of the bill was originally obtained exclusively by Breitbart News from U.S. Senate sources not authorized to leak it after showing “concern that the murky and secretive process behind this bill may have led to widespread corruption throughout its nearly three thousand pages.”

When there are almost three thousand pages in a bill, there are bound to be some questionable items.

And finally, Zero Hedge posted the following today:

An already-tenuous $1 trillion infrastructure spending package has been thrown into further disarray this week, after lawmakers filed nearly 300 amendments to the legislation, according to The Hill, which notes that in several instances “senators are holding their colleagues’ amendments hostage by objecting to voting on them unless their own priorities are also guaranteed a vote.”

Stay tuned.

Not Surprising

Hot Air is reporting today that Senator Manchin of Kentucky has seemingly decided not to be the finger in the dike to control Democrat spending. It'[s not definite yet, but I suspect he will be voting with the Democrats on their latest spending spree. As I have previously stated, the Senator only votes with the Republicans when his vote is not significant. When push comes to shove, he can be depended upon as a Democrat vote. His recent statement is going to put immense pressure on Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema to support the Democrat’s reckless spending.

The article reports:

When Senate Democrats had lunch with President Joe Biden on Wednesday, much of the discussion centered on their 3.5 trillion dollar grab-bag spending bill that was announced earlier this week. They’ve already resigned themselves to the idea that there won’t be a single Republican vote in favor of the measure, so they can’t afford to lose a single Democratic vote. As usual, that means that all eyes are on King Joseph of West Virginia to see if he will derail the entire thing. Manchin took the floor after Biden left the meeting and reportedly told them that he will be “a team player” and not derail the bill, provided he’s kept in the loop as it is being written. But he didn’t go as far as saying he would definitely vote for it, either.

…Manchin is talking about being a “team player” but he added in a lot of caveats that didn’t show up in the story lede. Reading into the details, all he’s saying at this point is that he won’t try to block a floor vote on allowing the bill to be drafted. That doesn’t mean the finished product will receive his approval. That’s why he is asking to be kept in the loop and for the members working on crafting the bill to keep some of his priorities in mind.

The article concludes:

Obviously, Joe Manchin can envision scenarios where that roadblock will crop up. And all it would take is one roadblock to send the entire thing down in flames. In other words, Joe Manchin may not be part of the committee that’s going to assemble the bill, but he’s pretty much the one calling all the shots as to what does or doesn’t make the cut. And if they somehow do manage to pass this bloated Democratic wish list, it’s going to meet his requirements. Joe Manchin is still clearly the most powerful person in the Senate at the moment and probably will be until the Democrats either lose their majority or expand it significantly.

I expect Senator Manchin to vote for the bill, but I would love to be wrong.

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.