Home Business News West Virginia's Manchin, his political muscles flex, his Senate Democrats swayed.

West Virginia’s Manchin, his political muscles flex, his Senate Democrats swayed.


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Bipartisan members of the Senate and House of Representatives announce the framework of coronavirus relief legislation at a press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional Democrats trying to push President Joe Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure plan on Thursday wondered if one of their men Sen. Joe Manchin, there could be a rebellion if the party tries to act without Republican support.

Senator West Virginia, in a column posted by the Washington Post, said that lawmakers should be “wary” of the possibility that Senate Democrats might employ a tactic known as “draw. “for passing the Democratic vote-only package, as they did last month with a COVID-19 bailout worth $ 1.9 trillion.”

Biden’s Democrats hold half of the 100-seat Senate, claiming a majority thanks solely to Vice President Kamala Harris’ draw vote. A Manchin or any other member’s defection could lose the bill’s chances for weeks – or months – Congress will argue about it once it returns next week after spring break.

Manchin came close to winning re-election in 2018 in an increasingly Republican state, home to some of the nation’s worst roads – which the infrastructure package could help fix – but also a coal industry will lose subsidies under some of its proposals.

While raising conciliation concerns, Manchin did not specifically say whether he would vote against the infrastructure bill in that scenario.

A Manchin assistant did not respond to a request for comment.

The White House says it wants “an open dialogue” with lawmakers.

“We continue to communicate not only with Senator Manchin but also with senators on both sides of the aisle, and members of the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle,” White House spokesman Kate Bedingfield told CNN.

In addition to criticizing the infrastructure bill debate, Manchin objected to Biden’s call to increase the US corporate tax rate to 28%, proposing a 25% target as more appropriate. The Republican-controlled congress reduced this rate in 2017 from 35% to 21% as part of a sweeping tax reform.

More than a dozen White House officials and companies interviewed by Reuters this week said they could live at 25 percent.

According to an analysis of 2018 Federal Highway Administration data by TRIP, a nonprofit transport group, TRIP, a non-profit transport group, examined market share. of roads and bridges in each state were in poor condition.

At the same time, West Virginia’s heavy reliance on fossil fuel industries means their firms could be affected by Biden’s proposed oil subsidy cut and coal companies will support. pay for the infrastructure plan.

While Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer took a difficult balancing act of moving Biden’s initiatives through the evenly divided Senate, Manchin also followed a tight political thread.

West Virginia is a deeply Republican state that voted overwhelmingly for former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.

Manchin will not run for re-election until 2024. But he could note that his win rate in 2018 was just 49.6% of the vote, down from his comfortable 60.6%. in 2012.

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