Manchin and Sinema should kill the Reconciliation Bill
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has two problems with President Biden’s $3.5 trillion dollar Reconciliation Bill. First is the total cost — and secondly the provisions in the Bill he will not support.
Arizona Senator Krysten Sinema has not detailed all her oppositions to the big Bill. She does not like the size but has not been as specific as Manchin in indicating what her ceiling is or which provisions she will not support.
Manchin had notified Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer early on that he would not support a bill in excess of $1.5 trillion. That has led to Washington-style speculation that a final compromise Bill would be in the $2.0 to $2.5 trillion range. Manchin will come up from his ceiling, they assume. But maybe not. So far, he is sticking to his $1.5 trillion number.
This has put Vermont’s Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders into a frenzy. And why not? Sanders has wanted a $6 trillion package. He considered the $3.5 trillion Bill as a final compromise. On the other hand, Manchin may see his $1.5 trillion as a compromise from his initial position that only the bi-partisan physical Infrastructure Bill should be passed this year.
Manchin proposed that the bigger Bill should be put on pause and not even considered until next year. He said that Congress should wait until we can ascertain the effects of the initial $1.9 trillion Stimulus Bill that passed in January – and until the backlog of unspent money gets into the economy. His point is well taken. If Biden got all his proposals through Congress, that would be an expenditure of $6.4 trillion over the next ten years – and a lot more fuel to the inflation that is already raging.
It is only the astronomically high cost of the initial proposals that makes Manchin’s $1.5 trillion line-in-the-sand reasonable. It is not. It is still too much money spent for too many wrong reasons.
On the other hand, a $1.5 trillion package is a defeat for the Biden and the Progressives agenda. Oh, they will call it a great victory, but losing more than half of his proposal – and some of the core programs – is more of a defeat than a victory. But it still gives Biden too much.
So, there ‘tis.