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Tipsheet

McConnell: It's 'Stunning' to Watch All These Manchin Reversals, and Dems Will Likely Betray Him Anyway

We welcomed Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) back onto the radio show yesterday -- and after seeking his perspective on the terrible flooding impacting his state, as well as Tuesday's Senate primary results across the country, I asked whether he felt like he and Senate Republicans just got rolled by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer on the tax-and-spend bill they've sprung on Washington after hammering it out in secret.  Unsurprisingly, McConnell said no, explaining that Republicans have always been powerless to stop a reconciliation bill from this majority, which only requires 50-plus-one votes for passage.  Democrats haven't been able to get their act together, he said, which may have finally changed.  But he did call Manchin out for his myriad flip-flops on major policy points, calling the brazen reversals "stunning" to witness:

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I floated my theory that Manchin may be the one who's about to get played, by agreeing to vote for an expensive progressive bill, in exchange for concessions that will supposedly take shape later.  Could his fellow Democrats get the vote they want out of Manchin, then allow various pro-fossil fuels assurances to evaporate?  McConnell called that outcome an "overwhelming likelihood."  Here's our full exchange:  


I presented a similar question to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and he agreed that the West Virginian could well get double-crossed once the chips fall:

GB: Do you think that Manchin might be perhaps on the brink of getting rolled by his own party, where they get him to vote for a bunch of stuff that they want on the left, and then these other ancillary concessions that he's extracted never actually materialize. How realistic is that scenario in your mind? 

JC: Well, I think you've described what's going to happen, guy. He's going to get rolled. Look, Joe Manchin is a nice guy. Everybody likes Joe. But he's done a total flip flop from where he was earlier on. Build back broke or build back better, as they called it back then

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Both McConnell and Cornyn blasted the Manchin-Schumer plan on the merits, mentioning many of the points we've been making all week, and adding this new wrinkle:

A closer look at a fresh analysis of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office shows that over 90 percent of the promised deficit reduction in the bill would come after 2026 — meaning it would do absolutely nothing to help reduce the current inflation problem...The way the bill is structured, the spending increases occur immediately, while the claimed savings take time to take effect — exactly the sort of “shell games” Manchin warned about last year when he blasted Democrats for not considering the permanent cost of expanding government programs (as this bill does with Obamacare). Of the $305 billion in promised deficit savings over the next decade, CBO says just $21 billion will be coming over the next five years when we’re in the midst of an historic inflation crisis, while the remaining 93 percent of the claimed savings won’t come until after 2026.

So it's a "deficit reduction" bill that won't do any serious (still hypothetical and dubious, knowing how Washington works) deficit reduction for another four years. And it's an "inflation reduction" bill that, per the White House's own rosiest estimate, won't achieve even microscopic, potential inflation reduction until...2031.  Seems legit. Meanwhile, another respected, nonpartisan analysis has determined that the legislation would actually slightly increase inflation over its first few years -- smack dab in the middle of acute inflation.  Genius stuff.  And yes, it does raise taxes:

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And yes, we are in a technical recession.  I'll leave you with another fact-check of Manchin, from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation:

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