Two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, hold America’s future in their hands. Both oppose their party’s beyond-reckless $3.5 trillion spending plan, but Republicans need to make sure they don’t waver.
The House and Senate have both passed a blueprint budget bill that includes that monster spending amount, triggering a “budget reconciliation” process that will let a tax-and-spend bill pass the Senate with just the 50 Democratic votes, plus that of Vice President Kamala Harris.
There’s an outside shot that centrists in the House could block the measure, but Manchin and Sinema hanging tough is the best hope to avert this nightmare.
Manchin, happily, is still warning of “grave consequences” if Congress spends another $3.5 trillion after all the trillions spent during the pandemic, saying such outlays would be “more suited” in response to “a Great Depression or Great Recession” than to an economy “on the verge of overheating.” Sinema, too, says she won’t back $3.5 trillion in new spending.
That leaves both sides racing to woo their votes. Dems might offer to scale down the package, which includes an expansion of Medicaid and Medicare, a version of the Green New Deal, an increased child tax credit, amnesty for illegal immigrants, nationwide free pre-K and community college, paid family and medical leave — pretty much everything Dems want to fundamentally and permanently transform America.
Even scaled back, the bill would be catastrophic: Congress should be looking to cut spending after shelling out nearly $5 trillion during the pandemic — not boost outlays by almost as much again, when you include another $1.2 trillion for the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
One option for Republicans: Remind folks (looking at you, Sens. Manchin and Sinema) that to pay for this monstrosity would require the largest (economy-killing) tax hike in US history, massive debt to saddle the nation’s next generations — or a brutal combo of both hikes and debt.
Perhaps Republicans can offer Sinema and Manchin other things; talks are reportedly under way. But Democrats can also sweeten their deal with assorted bribes for the pair.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell needs to pull out all the stops and persuade the two not to buckle. His success, or failure, will prove pivotal.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/08/31/gop-must-ensure-manchin-sinema-dont-buckle-in-opposing-dems-3-5t-bill/ on .