Joe Manchin Teaches Bernie Sanders a Valuable Lesson in Highly Combative Meeting – Opinion

Today’s negotiations continued over the reconciliation bill. While its original price tag was somewhere around $3.5 trillion, that’s now clearly not going to happen, thanks to opposition from Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Things are moving closer and closer to Manchin’s $1.5 trillion red-line, with even Joe Biden now admitting the bill will be nowhere near what the progressive wing wanted.

Bernie Sanders is still a delusion, but he learned a valuable lesson today in a confrontational meeting. Specifically, when you don’t have leverage you can have no say.

This was per Axios.

Senators. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) squabbled behind closed doors Wednesday, with Manchin using a raised-fist goose egg to tell his colleague he can live without any of President Biden’s social spending plan, Axios has learned…

…Manchin said, “I’m comfortable with zero,” forming a “zero” with his thumb and index finger, Tester reiterated, saying he believes the West Virginia Democrat can live with himself if the Senate doesn’t pass any of the president’s $2 trillion to $3.5 trillion package.

Manchin shut down Sanders after the latter proclaimed, per Jon Tester (who was present), that “We need to do three-and-a-half.” Apparently, the socialist senator is not living on the same planet as the rest of us. It will not be a $3.5 trillion agreement. The people who desire a huge new welfare state are not eligible to vote. Sanders could either accept this or get nothing. Manchin did exactly that to Sanders.

You don’t often see, or at least hear about, things getting this heated between senators. Sanders is trying to operate from a position of strength that he doesn’t hold. Manchin has the cards and he’s playing them. This bill will end up being $1.5 trillion, or slightly more.

Free college, climate provisions, etc. are gone — because they should be gone. This nation is already on the verge of economic catastrophe. It would be suicide to inject more money into an already overheated economy. Consumers would be left behind by inflation, already a significant problem. This situation would not be fixed by any government intervention.

Manchin wasn’t done, though. The wound was still salty, and Manchin let it go. AnyIn the very near future, deal. That’s a big gut-punch to the Biden agenda, given legislation will likely grind to a halt during the coming election year.

To summarize, Manchin has now announced that he’s fine with walking away from the table with nothing. That’s a tough line to take with the White House and the progressives but a necessary one. In fact, given the state he’s from, Manchin might prefer that nothing passes. Sanders appears content to continue walking in the same direction as Manchin. Things will get more contentious if this continues into next year. The chances of any bill being passed drop dramatically.

And for Republicans, that’s a perfect outcome.

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