On Monday, Senate Democrats received the gratifying news that the goat entrails examined by the Senate Parliamentarian decreed that yes, Democrats could pass more than one bill through the budget reconciliation process this fiscal year, handing President Biden and his colleagues another huge chance to pass the transformative legislation that our country so desperately needs.
But Senator Joe Manchin (“D”-WV) was right there to toss cold water on the president’s hopes for a major infrastructure bill, complaining that the increase on corporate taxes from 21% to 28% was too steep and implicitly threatened to block the bill should he not get his way.
“As the bill exists today, it needs to be changed…If I don’t vote to get on it, it’s not going anywhere. So we’re going to have some leverage here. And it’s more than just me, [West Virginia Metro News host Hoppy Kercheval] Hoppy. There are six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this. We have to be competitive and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind…We have to have our Republican friends work with us too. They just can’t be against everything thinking this going to be political posturing we are going to take for the 2022 elections,” said Manchin.
It’s unclear what world Joe Manchin lives in, because the Republican Party has made it obvious that they will not vote for anything the Democrats propose out of sheer spite alone and have nothing but bad faith and cruel intentions to offer the American people.
After ten years of Republican obstruction and sadistic neglect, it is beyond infuriating to see a former Republican like Joe Manchin force us all to go through this preposterous song-and-dance, needlessly watering down our own proposals just to titillate his personal obsession with the long-dead delusion of bipartisanism.
A 28% corporate tax rate isn’t even controversial or unprecedented — it is literally the same tax rate that we had just three years ago, making it a reversal of the Trump tax cuts of 2017, which just so happened to have been passed without any input from Democrats. It’s obvious that this is nothing but an excuse for Manchin to get himself back in the headlines so everyone can see how goddamn bipartisan he is for no practical reason beyond burnishing his ego and his public image.
It’s not a “compromise” if your side is the one doing all the compromising!
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.