(RightWing.org) – Is it deja vu? It feels like we keep living the Build Back Better semi-socialist nightmare over and over. Will it ever end? Unfortunately, it’s not going away until someone kills the bill or Congress passes the legislation. It’s unlikely that anyone in Congress will formally kill the bill. Too many Democrats falsely believe it will save their bacon in the 2022 midterm elections.
Standing in the way is a familiar foe, or so it would seem. Democrats are furious with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). For over six months, he stood in the way of them getting a massive overhaul of the US economy, tax code, social welfare state, and radical climate change agenda. The cost dwindled from $6 trillion to $3.5 trillion and now stands around $1.75 trillion. It’s hard to believe we’re talking about trillions of dollars as if it’s nothing. Regardless, Manchin faces numerous issues. Will he fight accounting gimmicks and tricks, push the bill to the brink over inflation, or embrace the Democratic smoke and mirrors?
Manchin In a Tough Place
It’s hard to gauge how Manchin will move forward. On the one hand, he’s a Democrat, and they generally stick together like glue. The fact he bucked his fellow Democrats this much is a bit shocking. Up until now, he’s voted 100% on the Biden agenda since January. So, would it really be a shock if he ends up giving the Left something despite his claim that he’s not a liberal and will never become one?
So, what is keeping Manchin from saying yes?
There are a couple of issues.
According to the US Department of Labor (DOL), inflation hit a record 39-year high in November. Manchin stated that despite past statements from President Joe Biden, fellow Democrats, and the Federal Reserve, inflation isn’t transitory or temporary. He continually says it’s something that Democrats must consider as they debate the size and scope of the Build Back Better semi-socialist and climate change legislation.
Accounting Gimmicks and Tricks
In October, the West Virginia Senator expressed concerns about the House’s unwillingness to pair back its plan. Instead of fully funding a few items permanently, House Democrats funded all their radical ideas for one to five years. That’s a problem for Manchin because it doesn’t deal with the actual cost of the legislation.
In early December, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report showing that if Congress permanently funded the legislation, it would add nearly $5 trillion to the national debt. That’s one thing Manchin said he would stand against firmly. The temporary nature of the programs may ultimately undermine the legislation. Most states will likely opt out of the child care provisions and others if they feel after creating the programs they would ultimately get stuck paying for them, or worse, need to cut them.
So, will Manchin force programs out of the bill and then permanently fund a few of them before telling the party to take it or leave it?
No More Talk
Impatient Democrats say there isn’t anything more to talk about. They want to vote and pass the bill today. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) intends to pass the bill before Christmas and send it back to the House for its consideration. In a 50/50 divided Senate, that may be pushing it.
The senate parliamentarian isn’t done reviewing the House bill to determine what does and does not qualify for the reconciliation budget process Democrats are using to get around a Republican filibuster. There’s a lot left for Democrats to decide.
In the end, Manchin will likely give Democrats something. The question is, will it be enough for Republicans to claim a moral victory lap?
Will Democrats have a strong semi-socialist foundation to build upon?
If passed into law by March, will the bill create more inflationary pressures next summer and fall, aid the GOP in the midterm 2022 elections, set up a potential GOP president in 2024?
Stay tuned. A lot is riding on this bill.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
Copyright 2021, RightWing.org