Republican efforts to use Manchin to keep Democrats from succeeding intensify

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., left, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., right, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., listen as President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, at the Capitol on March 01, 2022 in Washington, DC. During his first State of the Union address, Biden spoke on his administration’s efforts to lead a global response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, work to curb inflation, and bring the country out of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

Manchin hanging out with Republicans, as usual.

The most sought-after man in Washington, D.C., these days is likely also one of the least popular, at least with Democrats. That would be Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who has decided to make himself king by being the primary obstacle to the Senate achieving anything. He might think he’s in charge because of the criticality of his single vote, but he’s actually playing Mitch McConnell’s patsy.

We saw it on infrastructure, when Senate Republicans ran to him to lock him up for months in negotiations, effectively shutting down all the momentum President Biden and Democrats had going into the process following the quick enactment of the American Rescue Plan. On voting rights, when there was a strong and unified push, they did it again. McConnell’s useful tool Susan Collins reached out with an alternative, which has been creeping along with no visible progress. Now it’s happening again with gun regulation.

The strategy on McConnell’s part seems clear—keep Manchin tied up in these never-ending “bipartisan” talks, and keep anything from actually happening. And keep him away from Chuck Schumer, or at least be there after those meetings to whisper poison in his ear about anything Schumer might be asking for, specifically using the budget reconciliation bill that is available to Democrats until the end of September to pass meaningful economic help to the American people.

RELATED STORY:  Manchin setting Democrats up for October inflation surprise

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