Sen. Manchin’s threatens to upend Biden’s $3.5 trillion wishlist

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), once again, is being a thorn in the side of his fellow Democrats.

Now, Fox Business reports that Manchin is calling upon his Democratic colleagues to put a hold on their $3.5 trillion spending bill, indicating that, at the moment, he wouldn’t vote for it. 

The latest

In recent weeks, Manchin has been making statements suggesting that he would not be supporting the $3.5 trillion spending bill. This came after he voted in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure package.

The statements that Manchin made this week, about the $3.5 trillion bill, are his clearest yet. One of those statements Manchin made on Wednesday during an event put on by the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

“Hit the pause button,” Manchin said. “Let’s sit back. Let’s see what happens. We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do.”

Manchin continued:

I want to be able to take care of our military that can defend us anywhere in the world if it’s called upon. I want to make sure our economy is still robust. I want to make sure we’re bringing manufacturing back in opportunities. I don’t want to have debt over our head to where we basically can’t service the debt that we have.

Manchin finished off by saying that while there is a “lot of good stuff” in the $3.5 trillion bill, there isn’t “anything that we need immediately.”

Manchin’s op-ed

Manchin explained his stance on the $3.5 trillion spending bill in a piece that was published by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

“The nation faces an unprecedented array of challenges and will inevitably encounter additional crises in the future,” Manchin wrote. “Yet some in Congress have a strange belief there is an infinite supply of money to deal with any current or future crisis, and that spending trillions upon trillions will have no negative consequence for the future. I disagree.”

For this reason, Manchin, again, asked his colleagues to take a “strategic pause,” to refrain from trying to push the $3.5 trillion bill through Congress, at least for now.

Background

The Democrats are using reconciliation to pass the $3.5 trillion spending bill, meaning that no Senate Republican support will be needed to get the bill through the Senate. But, this is only true if all Senate Democrats are on board, which explains the importance of Manchin’s vote.

Fox News separately reports that many Democrats did not take too kindly to Manchin’s op-ed. So, the big question going forward will be whether Manchin will cave to the pressure or whether he will actually follow through and vote against the $3.5 trillion bill, should a vote be held. We’ll see.

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