What does Chuck Schumer plan to do?

The White House has handled Senator Joe Manchin with all the tact of a skating giraffe, misjudging West Virginian for years. But the prize for political malpractice could still go to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, with his new oath

Joe BidenSenate agenda without majority support.

Democrats are still reeling from Mr Manchin’s rejection of their Sunday’s multibillion-dollar mediation plan, though the real miracle is the unexpected. It’s not just Mr. Manchin who has clearly and consistently stated his objections since the summer. Democrats also ramped up a bullying campaign destined to push him to breaking point.

Mr. Schumer’s leadership team, specifically Dick Durbin, who was in the majority, began talking about Mr. Manchin in public. A statement from Biden last week publicly cited Mr Manchin as the reason for the bill’s delay – despite the bill being unfinished and despite the senator’s personal request that the White House leave his name to prevent it. prevent further harassment against him and his family. Administration officials also revealed a distorted version of a Manchin counterintelligence.

Mr. Manchin has made it clear that the attempt to “bad and beat” him to become “submissive” is a cold loser and his reason for leaving. Mr. Schumer’s reaction? To declare that he will hit badger and defeat Mr Manchin more openly, by forcing West Virginians to vote formally on the spending bill on the floor—“not just on television.” He also vowed to make Mr Manchin the party’s federal election bill, presumably by refusing to kill the killer.

A party leader will sometimes introduce a bill that is destined to fail, usually with the aim of bringing Opposition on profile. Mr. Schumer planned two negative votes, on the contrary, with the sole purpose of humiliating a member of his party. Lyndon B. Johnson does not.

The strategy is even more outlandish given that the political outlook for Build Back Better ranges from bad to ugly for Democrats. Mr. Schumer may be worried about Mr. Manchin’s refusal to continue the argument, killing the bill outright. He might even hope such a moment inspires his warring members to start a new project. Even so, he will get his most vulnerable incumbents to vote on a controversial bill that will never become law. Republicans have cut back on advertising. And that’s the best case scenario for Mr. Schumer.

What Mr. Schumer has to worry about is West Virginians voting for continue with the invoice and modify it to his liking. The budget adjustment process allows for a simple majority to pass legislation, but it comes with a price: unlimited revisions. Despite the Democrats’ efforts to declare only “one senator” against their bill, the actual number is 51 – Mr. Manchin and 50 Republicans. Imagine what fun that a possible majority in a vote.

Mr. Manchin can create amendments that include the full benefits of the bill, amendments that ban climate programs, amendments that cut out the bill’s tax increases. At least a few of those will get the full Republican support, and therefore 51 votes. Republicans will draft amendments that Manchin is unlikely to vote against. In August the beginning of the reconciliation process, the Senate made a dry vote. Mr. Manchin sided with Republicans on amendments related to energy, abortion, abortion, critical race theory and taxes. He can do so again, only this time the modifications will have a binding value.

Mr. Manchin might even propose a bill that would replace the whole thing — for example, along the lines of his most recent opponent, including pre-school, expanding ObamaCare and climate dollars. It was a generous offer, but still infuriating progressives. Mr. Schumer could set up a situation in which Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, not Mr Manchin, vote to destroy the reconciliation.

If this scenario feels familiar, that’s what happened in 2017 when the GOP fought on the Senate floor over the amendments to the ObamaCare repeal in mediation, and the bill fell apart. Why would any leader try to recreate that state of failure?

Perhaps because he has a priority other than passing legislation or unifying his party. Among the reasons Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has been vilified by Democrats and the media is that he allows himself to be defamed — for the benefit of his party. He has the heat to help the members hold their seats. By contrast, Mr. Schumer appears to be completely occupied by the individual — namely, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s threat to an administration. In rage, it was the progressives who demanded that Mr Manchin publicly back his opposition by a vote in the upper Senate, and Mr Schumer marched on their orders. It didn’t help anyone but Mr. Schumer.

What will Mr Manchin do? Mr. Schumer seemed to think launching an even greater pressure campaign would get the senator rolling. It hasn’t worked so far. And continuing to do so could result in an even worse political defeat for Democrats.

Write to kim@wsj.com.

Potomac Watch: With ‘Build Back Better’, Chuck Schumer seems to be expecting a Christmas miracle. He’d better get a leaf from Joe Manchin’s book. Image: Getty Images Synthesis: Mark Kelly

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https://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-schumer-up-to-chuck-joe-manchin-no-vote-build-back-better-majority-minority-11640289911 What does Chuck Schumer plan to do?

Ethan Gach

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