‘Joe Manchin, once at least a pretty reliable vote on critical issues, seems to have officially abandoned ship:
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is privately saying he thinks Congress should take a “strategic pause” until 2022 before voting on President Biden’s $3.5 trillion social-spending package, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Why it matters: Manchin’s new timeline — if he insists on it — would disrupt the plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to vote on the budget reconciliation package this month.
And the deeply ridiculous Kyrsten Sinema is joining him, singling out the single most popular item on Biden’s agenda to “justify” her obstructionism:
The White House has a new headache as it struggles to get its multitrillion-dollar party-line spending bill passed: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s objections to drug pricing reforms that are already struggling to make it through the House.
The Arizona Democrat is opposed to the current prescription drug pricing proposals in both the House and Senate bills, two sources familiar with her thinking said. They added that, at this point, she also doesn’t support a pared-back alternative being pitched by House Democratic centrists that would limit the drugs subject to Medicare negotiation.
Going from being a Green supporter to thinking Democrats should just turn things over to Republicans unless she personally gets every single thing she wants, truly a journey from A to A.
Manchin is a problem that can only be solved by electing more Senate Democrats — not an easy proposition he’s now making much harder — but Mark Kelly shows that Sinema is eminently replaceable with an actual supporter of the Democratic agenda and should be.