Congressional Democrats were never able to pass President Joe Biden's "Build Back Better" social spending bill because Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) dangled his support at the end of a hook for most of the last year only to reel it in at the last possible minute once Democrats had agreed to lower spending levels that he demanded.
I found the entire endeavor from start to finish to be rather demoralizing and considered the case closed, but Democrats could still pass something if Senator Manchin will actually support his own proposal this time around.
Democrats are reportedly planning to use their upcoming policy retreat to discuss a proposal from Manchin that would fall far short of previous proposals but still represent at least some investment in our own future.
Manchin is floating a package that would reduce the deficit, lower prescription drug costs, plow some money into fighting climate change and reform the tax code. While he’s repeatedly said there are no formal talks going on with Biden or his colleagues, most Democrats take it as a sign he’s open for business. [...]
If all Democrats stick together, they could pass a tax reform, climate and prescription drug package without Republican support. Manchin envisions half of the revenues from the bill going toward deficit reduction and fighting inflation, which he believes is “very popular” among voters.
I'm going to say the same thing I've said many times before. Passing something is better than nothing and Democrats should pass whatever they can get by Joe Manchin.
The question is not whether they should pass it or not; it's whether Joe Manchin will actually vote for his own outline.
I've always been optimistic that Manchin would come around at some point, but I no longer am. And I would like to be proven wrong about that in this case, but the problem is Manchin has already proven me wrong a dozen times over and I don't feel comfortable relying on anything he says. The most optimistic take I can muster is that Joe Manchin would like to remain in the majority of the Senate and he now believes this could be the only way to do that.
I have not seen what level of spending this new proposal would include, but Senator Manchin previously set a ceiling of $1.75 trillion. It's probably safe to say this new proposal will not be that large.