The intra-party debate over the amount of money in the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill continues, pitting progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) against moderates like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), of whom are on the opposite ends of the legislative spectrum.
According to the Washington Examiner, even though high-profile Democrats have insisted that the party is not embroiled in infighting, President Joe Biden confirmed the opposite during a recent phone call in which he admitted that if Sanders and Manchin entered a room together right now, it would end in “homicide.”
It was Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) who suggested last week that at this point, the only way Democrats might have a chance at hammering out a deal is by literally sticking Sanders and Manchin in the same room until they come to an agreement.
“Khanna had a suggestion for President Joe Biden on a private conference call earlier this week: Have Sens. Joe Manchin and Bernie Sanders sit in the same room and try to cut a deal on the Democratic Party’s massive social safety net expansion,” a CNN report noted.
The report added: “Because once they do, the California Democrat suggested, it would almost certainly satisfy the moderate and liberal wings of the Democratic caucus, which have been battling over the size, scope and details of the plan for months.”
The outlet went on to say that the president, on the phone call, reportedly, “told the progressive House Democrats that he’s been in politics a long time — and getting them together in the same room would almost be like ‘homicide.'”
As the Examiner noted, the stand-off between progressives and moderates like Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is, in fact, intense, with one unnamed Democratic source reportedly saying the feud is “off the charts.”
What do they want?
Manchin, from the beginning, has balked at the idea of cramming so much social spending in the bill — spending that ends up totaling roughly $3.5 trillion. Though President Biden and virtually every other Democrat with the political power to twist arms has approached Manchin, for the most part he hasn’t budged.
The West Virginia moderate has even called the $3.5 trillion price tag, “fiscal insanity.”
Sinema has echoed that same sentiment, for slightly different reasons, but nevertheless stands in the same corner as Manchin, citing the enormously high cost of the bill.
Sanders, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum and sees the bill as an opportunity to provide all of the free stuff that he’s promised America in nearly every election he’s ran.
Thankfully, we have moderates like Manchin and Sinema to block such asinine legislation that would only serve to wreck the economy for years to come, especially during a period of increased inflation. Hopefully, they both hold the line and prevent the Democrats’ monstrosity of a spending package from ever seeing the light of day.