President Biden took a swipe Tuesday at a pair of moderate Democrats while attempting to explain why the most ambitious parts of his agenda haven’t been passed through Congress.
“I hear all the folks on TV saying, ‘Why doesn’t Biden get this done?’” the president said during remarks in Tulsa commemorating the 100th anniversary of that city’s race massacre.
“Well, because Biden only has a majority of effectively four votes in the House, and a tie in the Senate,” he went on, “with two members of the Senate who vote more with my Republican friends.”
Though Biden did not mention any names, he seemed to be referring to Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). Both senators have been emphatic that they will not vote to remove the legislative filibuster, which requires most legislation to garner 60 votes to pass.
Democrats have recently blamed the filibuster for blocking the passage of sweeping changes to voting rights and gun control laws. Last week, Republicans used the filibuster to block the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the deadly riot at the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
Manchin is seen as a particularly sharp thorn in Biden’s side due to his skepticism of key parts of the president’s agenda. The senator has balked at raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent and has described the president’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan as costing an “uncomfortable” amount of money.
In addition, while Sinema is a sponsor of the federal election reform bill that passed the House, known as the For the People Act, Manchin has refused to sign on, calling the measure “too broad.”
Despite the opprobrium from Biden, Manchin and Sinema don’t seem to have any problem showing their support when actual votes are taken. According to FiveThirtyEight, the two have voted with Biden’s position 100 percent of the time, more than progressive stalwarts like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.; voted with Biden 96.7 percent of the time) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted with Biden 96.6 percent of the time).
Spokespeople for Manchin and Sinema did not immediately respond to the Post’s requests for comment.
With Post wires
Author : Samuel Chamberlain