President Biden's call for unity in his inauguration speech has all but been forgotten the past few weeks as he continues to sign some of the most partisan orders we've seen in a long time. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline (and thousands of jobs with it), and he revoked the Mexico City Policy, which put a ban on federal funding of overseas abortions. And now the administration is trying to ram through a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Republicans in saying enough is enough.
“Biden's advisers have led him wrong to start out in a strictly partisan direction," Sen. Manchin said on Friday, according to Politico reporter Anthony Adragna.
Manchin ?? to @AnthonyAdragna:— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) February 5, 2021
"Biden's advisers have led him wrong to start out in a strictly partisan direction. We should have found something that we could have voted on bipartisan first and then gone down this lane when we hit a roadblock, and they didn't do that”
“If we go off the rails and there's no bipartisan [work], you ain’t coming back for two years....We can get a trillion-dollar, bipartisan deal tonight," Manchin continued.
Sen. Manchin also recently got into a squabble with Vice President Kamala Harris because she brought the White House's COVID stimulus message to West Virginia without notifying him first.
"That’s not a way of working together," he said at the time.
Sen. Manchin, along with his fellow moderate Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), is a crucial vote in the Senate, which is evenly split 50-50. The two of them have refused to join the Democratic effort to nuke the filibuster, the Senate rule requiring 60 members to end debate and vote on issues at hand. As a result, a new progressive PAC created by former aides to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the No Excuses PAC, has launched an effort to find primary challengers to both Manchin and Sinema when they're up for re-election in 2024.
Meanwhile conservative groups are echoing Sen. Manchin's concerns about Biden's "hyper-partisan" budget.
“Despite Biden’s frequent rhetoric in the past several week about ‘unity,’ President Biden and Congressional Democrats plan to ram through a budget resolution with no efforts to meaningfully engage Republican, and as a result, no Republican votes," FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon said in a statement. "This move sets up hyper-partisan consideration of a nearly $2 trillion dollar reconciliation package that will only increase the burgeoning deficit while doing little to get Americans back to work.
“On top of bad policy such as blue state bailouts and an increase in federal unemployment benefits, this reconciliation package is poised to include a wishlist of far-left ideas such as blue-state bailouts and even a $15 minimum wage mandate. Such policies will make it harder for employers to fill jobs while also rewarding fiscally irresponsible state and municipal governments, which only impedes the nation’s economic recovery. Worse still, the fact that policy items such as the $15 minimum wage are even being entertained as part of a budget reconciliation bill also demonstrates Democrats’ complete disregard for established precedent and law.”