Secret Joe Manchin “Agreement” with Chuck Schumer Scrambles Democrats

Washington-Sen. Joe Manchin(DW.Va.) Secret Agreement with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) Many Democratic colleagues were surprised Thursday as they faced the reality that they might need to curtail their ambitious safety nets and grand plans for climate change spending packages.

Manchin Revealed for the first time On Thursday, he announced that he would not accept packages totaling more than $ 1.5 trillion. That’s a lot lower than the $ 3.5 trillion figure. Democratic Party I was looking for it. Moderate Democrats outlined his spending cap and other terms in a personal document with Schumer in July, weeks before Democrats resolved to begin drafting a bill totaling $ 3.5 trillion. bottom.

“If you ask me, it’s pretty sad,” Sen said. Hirono Majie (D-Hawaii) When asked about Manchin’s position on Thursday, he told reporters.

Senator Martin Heinrich (DN.M.) said the $ 1.5 trillion bill was nearly less than an investment to address the urgent threat of climate change.He quoted That opinion article Former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, Manchin’s predecessor, wrote in 2009 on behalf of strong actions to address climate change. “He was crazy about something,” Heinrich tweeted.

However, other senators made a more practical tone, welcoming the fact that Manchin clarified exactly where he stood in his legislative priorities. Recent progressive lawmakers have complained that Manchin hadn’t announced what he wanted to see in the bill when he negotiated with President Joe Biden at the White House.

“My impression may have announced that he surprised many of us to make it clear that he has a list showing some basic positions and principles.” Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) Told the HuffPost about the July document. “It’s positive in moving us from something completely meaningless to a clear list here.”

“Once we know his priorities, we encourage him to do more … we are approaching the deal,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn). .) Added.

A total of $ 1.5 trillion bills will force Democrats to narrow or remove many of their priorities. The $ 3.5 trillion proposal currently includes funding for free community colleges and kindergartens. Monthly payments to most households with children, which began this summer. Expansion of medical insurance for the elderly and the poor. And a new subsidy for green energy. If Manchin sticks to $ 1.5 trillion, Democrats will be forced to abandon many of these programs.

Manchin said in a briefing with reporters Thursday that he opposed adding too many new government programs to create a “qualification spirit” among Americans. He said he preferred to impose “means tests” and “work requirements” on existing programs.

The Democratic Party controls only 50 seats in the Senate, and all 50 Senators must be on board to pass the bill under a settlement process to avoid Republican filibuster. Therefore, Manchin and other moderate senators who share his views have a great deal of influence in the talks.

Both the typed “agreement” Manchin and Schumer signed in July, saying Politico outlined Manchin’s request and said it would not guarantee a vote on the settlement bill above $ 1.5 trillion, more. It left the possibility of supporting the number. It also includes a note from Schumer, “I try to discourage Joe on many demands.”

The news in this document reached Capitol Hill like a bomb. Reporters tried for months to get Manchin to explain his request, but with little success. Manchin was asked on Thursday why he was less transparent about his position on the settlement, including the overall total spending he was trying to support, and said he was “trying to respect my agreement” with Schumer. rice field. He didn’t elaborate.

Schumer’s spokesperson said Senator “disagreed with any of the terms presented by Senator Manchin. He only admitted where Senator Manchin was on the matter at the time.”

Still, Schumer exposed many members to the darkness of the existence of the document as lawmakers pushed expectations for a larger bill with many progressive priorities. Schumer kept members of his leadership team out of the loop.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairman of the party’s policy committee, told the HuffPost when asked if she had previously known the document, “I didn’t.” ..

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Vice-Chair of the Conference, said: She said she wasn’t “comfortable” surprised by the news.

It’s also worth noting that Schumer signed the document — members of both parties had previously advertised a promise from leaders on pet issues. It is rarely written on signed paper.

Senator Mitt Romney (Republican), who worked closely with Manchin in an infrastructure overhaul this summer, was clearly raising his head to the Democratic Party from the beginning, and leaders knew what he wanted. I knew exactly. Ignored. “

The Democratic Party hopes that Manchin will eventually be able to agree to a bill totaling more than $ 1.5 trillion. But Manchin looked solid in that number on Thursday, suggesting that his party could take the second rift by passing more of Biden’s legislative agenda in next year’s follow-up legislation. ..

“I want to sit down and go through 1.5 and work on my priorities. [the rest of the party] You can come back later and do the rest later. … not all at once, “Manchin said.

This article was originally published HuffPost Was updated.

Related …