“Joe Manchin again frustrates Democrats over budget negotiations”

Mr. Manchin, said Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, “has shown that he doesn’t know how to close a deal — or he doesn’t want to close a deal — and that you can’t trust him.”


For a full year, Democrats have tried to divine what Sen. Joe Manchin III would say yes to, beginning with private huddles last fall at the White House to more recent Zooms with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

They seem to have all made the same mistake: hearing the nice tones that the West Virginia Democrat said in their private meetings, while dismissing his pessimistic comments in public as standard negotiating ploys.

Instead, Manchin is the odd politician whose public pronouncements, whether in brief Capitol hallway interviews or in detailed prepared statements, carry more weight than whatever he tells his colleagues in private.

This reality came crashing back into play late Thursday when The Washington Post’s Tony Romm and Jeff Stein broke the news that Manchin told Schumer he could no longer support big pieces of their emerging budget bill that would address climate change and raise taxes on the wealthy.


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