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Mitch McConnell crushes Joe Manchin’s bipartisan fantasies

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Mitch McConnell crushes Joe Manchin’s bipartisan fantasies

About two days later Joe manchin expressed confidence that Republicans would work with Democrats on voting rights legislation and that meaningful compromise was still possible in this bitterly polarized Washington, Mitch McConnell he shot down the bipartisan dreams of the West Virginia senator.

First, McConnell announced that he would not support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which Manchin and the Republican senator Lisa murkowski they have urged lawmakers to reauthorize. Manchin in opinion piece Sunday wrote that he opposed the To the People Act, the Democrats’ best chance to expand voting rights and protect the franchise from Republican barrage, because he did not have the support of the Republican Party, but said he supported the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and that it was “encouraged by the desire of both parties” to do so. But McConnell, who set the tone for the rest of his group, made clear that this bill would not have the support of Republicans either: “There is no threat to the voting rights law,” McConnell. told reporters. “I think it is unnecessary.”

Then a team of McConnell substitutes led by Shelley Moore Capito—Manchin’s Republican counterpart in West Virginia— continued to crack down on Joe biden and its proposed infrastructure plan, torpedoing negotiations with the White House, despite administration concessions. Capito blamed Biden for ending the negotiations and said in a statement that the break “does not mean that bipartisanship is not feasible.” But as the Washington Post‘s Greg sargent he pointed last week, maintaining the illusion that a compromise is possible while doing everything possible to “[stop] this administration “ It’s McConnell’s trademark trick. “McConnell is not just trying to give the impression that the Republican Senate group wants a deal,” Sargent observed. “He’s also trying to keep Democrats chasing this mirage.”

For now, Democrats remain: After Biden closed talks with Capito, he opened new ones with Republicans. Bill cassidy, whose group includes moderate GOP as Mitt romneyas well as conservative Democrats Manchin and Kyrsten sinema. As a politician reportedThat group is more likely to come to terms with each other. But members, who lack influence in their respective parties, are also less likely to sell that deal to their respective caucuses. “There is no way Manchin and Sinema are going to reach an agreement that represents the caucus point of view,” said a Democratic senator. He said CNN after lunch on Tuesday. “It’s just not going to happen.”

“I’ve been ready to move from bipartisanship to the top priorities of the Biden administration for a while now,” said the Democratic senator. Mazie hirono he said to the middle.

In infrastructure, that would mean passing Biden’s plan through reconciliation. But on other key goals, particularly voting rights, it would likely mean removing or at least significantly weakening obstructionism, something Manchin and Sinema are unwilling to do. Manchin in his Sunday opinion piece insisted that the tool is necessary to encourage debate and ensure commitment. But his adamant refusal to touch on the procedure actually does the opposite, as Fox News put it. Chris Wallace He said Manchin on Sunday: “Haven’t they empowered Republicans to be obstructionists?” asked the anchor.

Manchin has been outdone by McConnell before. In 2013, he expressed confidence in a gun control compromise he reached with the Pennsylvania senator. Pat toomey—Just so that his moderate reforms do not reach the threshold of 60 votes in what the then president Barack Obama described as a “Shameful day” in Washington. And last month some seemed surprised taken when McConnell and the Republicans defeated legislation to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill. But it’s puzzling that he seemed surprised: Why would the party responsible for the riots want him to undergo a robust and independent investigation?

The same is true of the voting rights legislation that Republicans are willing to block, despite Manchin’s insistence that he can cast 10 Republican votes to reauthorize John Lewis’s bill – the party actively trying to reverse the Voting rights will not do anything to help protect them. Manchin’s inability to see that has already weighed down on Democrats’ efforts to govern, and it will only get worse as they move toward important priorities that McConnell has pre-emptively condemned as “far-left provisions.” “Looking towards what [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer] has in mind for June “, McConnell told reporters Tuesday, “It’s pretty clear that the era of bipartisanship is over.”

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