From NBC News:
Manchin says he’s ready to talk. Can Democrats sell him on a new ‘Build Back Better’?
The pivotal centrist Democrat has been elusive on President Biden’s top domestic priority. He says he’s willing to restart negotiations — “from scratch.”
On Thursday, Manchin indicated openness to reviving negotiations.
“We’ll be talking to everybody who wants to talk,” he told reporters before leaving the Capitol. “We’ll just be starting from scratch.”
Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden laid out a path forward that he believes can meet Manchin’s demands and become law: Focus the legislation on climate and clean energy funding, expanded Affordable Care Act funding, universal pre-K, prescription drug savings and new tax revenues to finance it.
Wyden said Democrats have yet to settle on a final spending level but are listening closely to Manchin’s demands. “He wants to deal with inflation,” Wyden said, arguing that the bill includes cost containment policies. He said Manchin “feels very strongly” that new programs be set up and funded for 10 full years. “We are going to try as hard as we can to make these permanent.”
Sweet weeping Jeebus, are we really going down this road again? Pawpaw Blacklung and Ms. Curtsey aren’t bargaining in good faith. They never were. They never will.
Just two days ago, Manchin told NBC’s Manu Raju that he “wants to see inflation, covid and the national debt dealt with first” before he’ll countenance discussion of BBB provisions. Mind you, this is after he went on Fox News to blow up BBB last month because the wording of a press release hurt his feelings.
Next he’ll insist on a cold fusion-powered perpetual motion machine — to be delivered in a golden cart pulled by a unicorn that shits scotch eggs and pisses bourbon. Seriously, fuck that guy, and to hell with Senator Self-Actualization from Arizona too.
I understand we have to govern with the Senate we have rather than the Senate we wish we had. But engaging with these preening flakes again isn’t a no-risk proposition. They’ve done more to harm Biden’s presidency than Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy combined, and they’ll keep right on with their death-by-a-thousand-papercuts strategy as long as it keeps the cameras on their smug-ass mugs.
Enough. Cut them off. Accept the fact that Republicans control the Senate, with the important exception of federal judiciary and administration nominations that require senate approval. Make the most of that scrap of power and executive orders, and work like hell toward holding the House and electing a real Democratic majority in the Senate this November. We don’t have one now.