Democratic Senator Joe Manchin on Wednesday opposed introducing a new tax on the wealthy to fund Joe Biden’s US stimulus plan. This is not the first time that this politician has succeeded in undermining the reforms of the American president…but from the same political side.
With these allies, you don’t need to have enemies. The main obstacle to a series of reforms that US Democratic President Joe Biden wants does not come from the other side of the political spectrum, but from its ranks. His name is Joe Manchin III, a senator from West Virginia, and he seems determined to block anything on the president’s agenda that might appeal to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Just Viewed Joe Mansion, Wed Oct 27, To impose a new tax on the super-rich proposed by the government. A measure that is supposed to offer Joe Biden a financing plan for his massive infrastructure program. Ironically, if the president needs to bring up the idea of a new tax on big fortunes, it’s because his original proposal — to raise the corporate tax rate — has been rejected by a few Democrats, including Joe Manchin.
The Senate at his feet
The 74-year-old senator isn’t the first legislative act that angered Joe Biden. He also opposed, Tuesday, the financial reassessment of maternity or paternity leave. The very progressive Nira Tanden appointment was blocked in February To lead the White House budget and single-handedly succeeded in reducing the level of unemployment benefits included in the American recovery plan to get out of the health crisis that was adopted in February 2021.
But he has truly earned his reputation as the number one enemy of his party’s progressive wing and the Democratic favorite of conservatives by repeatedly opposing the White House’s climate plan. A few days before Joe Biden arrives in Scotland COP26 Decisive SummitThe president’s inability to pass an ambitious program to cut greenhouse gas emissions because of one senator, who is moreover from his camp, is the worst effect.
Joe Manchin, in fact, “The man who controls the Senate”As The New Yorker wrote in a long survey devoted to this politician in June 2021. His vote became central in a room divided in two, with 50 Democrats or associated senators and 50 Republicans. Since he embodies the party’s centrist wing more than any other Democrat, he is currently being courted on all sides.
Joe Manchin’s insistence that he vote against his camp has not ceased to anger his fellow Democrats. “The sight of a Democratic representative from one of the poorest states doing everything to cut aid to the poorest countries makes a lot of Democrats angry. I think Joe Manchin is totally bogus and says nothing but nonsense,” an elected representative escaped the skepticism of the Democratic Party By The Wall Street Journal.
Because West Virginia is one of the five poorest states in the country. Joe Mansion often presents himself as the most lost-hole kid in this already sparsely populated country. He comes, in fact, from Farmington, a small town a few kilometers from Charleston with a population of only 235, where his grandfather, an Italian immigrant, settled in 1904.
In the name of the king charcoal
Somehow, Joe Manchin and Joe Biden will have everything to get along. Both like to remember their humble origins – the current president never misses an opportunity to point out that the media calls him “middle-class atmosphere” – and both built their own fortunes before entering politics, and they claim above all to be pragmatic centrists, favoring dialogue. Bipartisanship on Ideological Crusades.
However, it seems that they have become fraternal political enemies for the time being. There are several reasons for this hostility, but the main one has to do with the links, proven and claimed by the director in question, between Joe Mansion and the fossil fuel sector industries.
Before he became a senator, this state-born was the mining lung of the country as part of his fortune as a coal merchant at the helm of Enersystem, a company he founded in 1988. Even if he ceded the group’s head to his son when he entered politics, Joe still Manchin owns shares there. Worth over a million dollars.
So Joe Manchin has a very personal interest in the health of the fossil fuel sector. He is also the senator who has received the most campaign funding from the oil and gas industries, According to OpenSecret which tracks the sums spent by lobbyists in Washington.
No wonder, then, that this politician is staunchly opposed to bills promoting renewable energies and plans to pay polluting industries to close their factories, a large part of which is still located in West Virginia.
Obsessed with bipartisanship
That doesn’t explain Joe Manchin’s opposition to many of the other actions or appointments proposed by the Biden administration. For the New Yorker, the senator’s stance stems from his obsession with bipartisan compromise.
And so he voted with Republicans for the highly controversial nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, accused of sexual assault, to the Supreme Court in 2018, in the name of this conviction that ties with the opposing camp should never be severed, Remember The New York Times.
And when Joe Biden introduced his bill to protect the right to vote in June 2021, Joe Mansion oppose it Emphasizing that “legislation on subjects no less important than the right to vote must result from bipartisan agreement.” This opposition had provided a significant victory for Republicans who, in several states such as Texas, passed laws intended to restrict the right to vote.
For other Democrats, every time Joe Manchin opposes the president in the name of bipartisan consensus, he plays for a Republican party that doesn’t care about that idea in a post-Donald Trump era. Walt Oville, another Democrat from West Virginia, asks for an interview by The New Yorker.
In the eyes of his critics, Joe Mansion represents a relic of another time when a political opponent could still be negotiated. And this effect, almost on its own, prevents the world’s leading power from moving forward with the proposed reforms.
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