But it became clear on Friday that total control does not mean total agreement and that many priorities are likely to be challenged from within the party—even something as popular as the $2,000 check.
“Absolutely not. No. Getting people vaccinated, that’s job No. 1,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), a conservative Democrat, told The Washington Post about the idea of increased stimulus checks. “How is the money that we invest now going to help us best to get jobs back and get people employed? And I can’t tell you that sending another check out is gonna do that to a person that’s already got a check.”
Later in the afternoon, a spokesperson for Manchin sought to clarify the senator’s remarks, telling NBC News that “he isn’t drawing a red line against $2K checks” and is willing to listen to the forthcoming administration’s plans…
“If we want to remain in power on either side of Pennsylvania Avenue, we need to consider and respect the moderate wing of the party,” said Michael Gordon, a Democratic operative. “The most powerful people in Washington… are now Joe Manchin, [Sen.] Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and [Sen.] Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Any single one of them can stop any legislation from happening.”