Manchin is realizing that his party's spending plans are absurd

I wrote recently that to take Manchin at his word is to conclude that he has to oppose most of the proposed plan. The United States just spent $6 trillion fighting COVID, and it’s horribly in debt. The deficit this year will be $3.2 trillion, and next year, and for every year thereafter, it will be $1.1 trillion. It would be an act of vandalism to make this worse, and, at some level at least, Manchin seems to know this.

Axios notes that “Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.” Which is true, but which shouldn’t matter in the slightest to anyone outside of Washington, D.C. Neither of these bills are necessary, and the timetables for both are a contrivance. So Nancy Pelosi is vexed for a while? Who cares?

Presumably not Joe Manchin, whose state voted for Donald Trump in 2020 by around 40 points, and who is considerably less popular there than the Republicans are.

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