Durbin: I'm shocked, *shocked* to hear Manchin's objections to budget gimmickry in BBB

Durbin: I'm shocked, *shocked* to hear Manchin's objections to budget gimmickry in BBB

As a measure of intellectual dishonesty in the Build Back Better campaign, no better example exists than this from Dick Durbin. The number-two man in Senate Democrat leadership either lived his life in an Altered States sensory deprivation chamber for the past five months, or he’s lying his posterior off in an attempt to dodge responsibility for the political disaster.

I’ll take Door Number 2, but YMMV:

Manchin recently told White House negotiators that he wants the Build Back Better bill to include a 10-year extension of the expanded child tax credit so that its true cost is reflected in the official Congressional Budget Office score of the bill.

At the same time, he wants to keep the overall cost of the bill at $1.75 trillion, which means there would be little room for other Democratic priorities. A 10-year extension of the expanded child tax credit would cost about $1.5 trillion alone.

That would leave only $250 billion to $350 billion for other priorities such as long-term home health care, expanded child care subsidies, universal prekindergarten and raising the cap on state and local tax deductions.

“I was stunned by that,” Durbin said on Thursday when asked about his reaction to the late-breaking news that Manchin didn’t want to include a one-year extension of the expanded child tax credit. “That is such a critical element — the largest tax cut for working Americans in the history of the United States. We were so proud of what we accomplished there and for this to come up as an issue toward the end was stunning.”

Excuse me? Joe Manchin has warned for weeks about the budget gimmickry that his colleagues employed to get the cost of the reconciliation package down to $1.75 trillion. He warned while pushing that number that the bill’s total cost shouldn’t be any higher than that, and that its programs should be narrowly focused on working-class economics rather than broad social engineering. More than two months ago, Manchin even held a presser to announce it:

That was over two months ago. Manchin may not have explicitly said that Democrats should be honest about costs, but he clearly staked out the position of narrow focus on economic issues and insisted that the overall real cost couldn’t go above $1.5 trillion and still get his vote. Instead, progressives declared that they couldn’t part with any of the programs in the package and set about lowering the top-line figure through phony sunsets … such as the one that will take place shortly on the child-tax credit. That got scored in Biden’s stimulus package as only running to the end of the year on the basis that Congress wouldn’t dare let it expire, just as progressives inserted poison pills all over BBB to force continued spending.

And if for some reason Durbin was unclear on this point, did he even bother to ask Manchin about it? As, y’know, the second-ranking leader of the caucus? Either Durbin’s an idiot or a liar. There simply is no other explanation for this claim.

Durbin’s unhappy to be hoist by his own petard. The CBO blew up the farce from underneath Joe Biden, Durbin, and the rest of the Democrats, and now the CTC expiration may be an even bigger explosion.

For this, Durbin might get the Captain Louis Renault Award of the Year. And let the record show that Durbin’s shameless dishonesty knows few bounds.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on June 02, 2023