Surprise not surprised:
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) told Democratic leaders Thursday he would not support an economic package that contains new spending on climate change or new tax increases targeting wealthy individuals and corporations, marking a massive setback for party lawmakers who had hoped to advance a central element of their agenda before the midterm elections this fall.
The major shift in negotiations — confirmed by two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the talks — threatened to upend the delicate process to adopt the party’s signature economic package seven months after Manchin scuttled the original, roughly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act, which President Biden had endorsed.
As long as this Republican cat's paw can delay and, ultimately, sabotage major parts of the Democratic agenda, he'll do so -- up to the point when he leaves the Democratic Party after the mid- terms (wait and see!). Netting two Democratic senators will end the Sinemanchin tyranny in that body.
In the meantime, Senate Dems need to take the "Kick me, Joe Manchin" sign off their backs. He's not your colleague or your "friend."
(To be scrupulous, Manchin is reported to be "open" to an extension of the Affordable Care Act for two years and lower drug pricing for seniors -- but with Manchin, we'll believe it when we see it.)
(Photo: "How am I doing, Malignant Loser?"/ Saul Loeb/ AFP via Getty Images)