Moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WV) has called on fellow Democrats to "hit the pause button" on their $3.5 trillion economic blueprint, throwing the tax-and-spending plan into disarray
According to Bloomberg, Manchin said this week that "runaway inflation" and uncertainty over Afghanistan-fueled national security risks warrants a 'go-slow' approach and a possible rethinking of the plan.
"Hit the pause button," he said during a West Virginia Chamber of Commerce event held Wednesday. "Let’s sit back. Let’s see what happens. We have so much on our plate. We really have an awful lot. I think that would be the prudent, wise thing to do."
Manchin’s comments come as Democratic leaders and committee chairs in the Senate and House are working out the specifics of the economic package, with a goal of moving it through Congress in the weeks after lawmakers return from an extended August recess. Manchin is a linchpin vote because Republicans are united in opposition. All members of the Senate Democratic caucus would have to back the measure in order for it to get the 51 votes needed to pass, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the tie-breaking vote.
The spending package also is facing obstacles in the House. Democrats can only afford three defections in that chamber if Republicans are united in opposition, and some moderate Democrats also are balking at the size of the package being drawn up. -Bloomberg
Manchin also called for the House to pass the $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has insisted must be passed along with the $3.5 trillion plan.