Sen. Joe Manchin has threatened to block President Biden’s infrastructure and climate change package unless Republicans have more of a say in the negotiation process than they did with the stimulus bill of the coronavirus.
Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia who has emerged as a critical vote in the tightly divided Senate, said he would use his position as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee to delay legislation unless the GOP does. have a say.
“I’m not going to do it by reconciliation,” he told “Axios on HBO” in an interview that aired Sunday. “I’m not going to get into a bill that removes them completely before I start trying.”
Senate Democrats used reconciliation, which only requires a simple majority, to pass Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package on Saturday by a 50-49 party line vote.
Democrats hold a majority in the 50-50 split Senate because Vice President Kamala Harris, as Speaker of the Senate, can sever ties.
Asked if Axios thinks he could get 10 Republicans on the infrastructure bill to get the 60 votes needed under normal Senate rules, Manchin said, “I know that.
Manchin, 73, who delayed the coronavirus stimulus bill for hours last week over his opposition to a $ 15 minimum wage and the extension of unemployment benefits, said he would ensure that the infrastructure invoice tab is fully paid.
It is estimated to cost between $ 2 trillion and $ 4 trillion
The West Virginia Red State senator said he was concerned about the nation’s debt levels and worried about “a huge, deep recession that could lead to depression if we’re not careful.” … We are just falling into place.
Manchin said he would support tax increases, including raising the corporate tax rate to 25% from 21%, and repealing “a lot” of the tax cuts for the rich passed under. the administration of former President Donald Trump to pay them.
In an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press on Sunday, Manchin said he opposes ending the filibuster because it will kill bipartisan cooperation and want to make it more “painful” when it is. used.
“If you want to make it a little more painful, have him just sit there and talk,” Manchin said. “I am ready to watch in any way I can, but I am not ready to withdraw the participation of the minority.”
Systematic obstruction requires a margin of 60 votes to end debate on a bill and proceed to a vote.
He warned Democrats to be careful how they exercise majority rule.
“I would say this to my friends. You have the power… don’t abuse it. And that’s exactly what you’ll do if you filibuster, ”he said.