GOP romance with Joe Manchin is over

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) spent years becoming the GOP’s favorite Democrat in the Senate, and recently Republicans praised him for no less than “Salvation” and”American way of life“Because he refuses to accept much of his party’s agenda.

It took Republicans just one afternoon to turn on the wild-card senator from West Virginia and see him as another aide to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Last week, Manchin did what Republicans and some Democrats thought he wouldn’t do: He made a deal.

Just minutes after the Senate Passed a high-tech manufacturing bill— If Manchin miraculously strikes a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on climate, health care and tax measures, which Republicans have threatened to stick to — Manchin and Schumer announce they do an incredible thing.

Suddenly, the senator whom the Republican Party once praised for keeping the country from going down a path of destruction is suddenly jumping in the driver’s seat — and doing so furtively, in their opinion.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – who told reporters last year, “God bless” Manchin – told the Daily Beast he appreciated Manchin’s “persistence” in maintaining the filibuster, the Senate’s 60-vote threshold to pass the law. But Graham stressed that Manchin was pushing an “ill-considered idea” that “doesn’t make sense”.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — who last year reportedly urged Republican senators to strategically praise Manchin and be open to Manchin switching parties — said at a news conference on Tuesday that he A West Virginia colleague made a “bad deal.”

“It’s amazing how he defends that,” McConnell said. “It’s a trade that only Bernie Sanders would love.”

For Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Manchin’s move appears to have stirred at least four of the five stages of grief. When Manchin faced intense criticism from Democrats last year, Cornyn routinely defended his colleagues to his 350,000 Twitter followers. in December, Cornyn admits to texting Manchin himself Asked if he would join the GOP convention, he called the prospect “the greatest Christmas present he could imagine.”

But after Manchin rolled out his deal, Cornyn took to the Senate to denounce the Democratic senator’s “Olympic-sized flip-flops.”

Cornyn has tweeted about Manchin’s decision more than a dozen times since the weekend, questioning his analysis of economic data, accusing him of “blaming” and saying he was in a very unpopular state to President Joe Biden “Slammed” yourself.

In a tweet, Cornyn turned things around by citing what Republicans consider Manchin’s bravest moments.

“Manchin tried to pretend he killed the BBB,” he said, referring to Biden’s massive rebuilding-better agenda, “but he really agreed with the Green New Deal.”

In scope and scale, the package Manchin eventually brokered was a far cry from the Green New Deal or “Build Back Better,” which invested hundreds of billions of dollars in climate and energy measures. The new legislation was quickly given a mid-term friendly name — the Inflation Reduction Act — but it remains an important package that includes tax increases for the wealthy, $300 billion in climate investments, and Reforms to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Given two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, persistent inflation and widespread fears that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession, Republicans believe even this more modest package would be devastating for the economy. Many hope Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) will play a Manchin-esque role here. The Arizona centrist has yet to approve the Manchin-Schumer deal, and her objections would defeat the plan as Democrats intend to use a special budget process to pass the bill entirely by Democrats.

But when it comes to Manchin, “the gloves have come off,” said a senior Republican aide.

“Manchin held on to the filibuster and the BBB,” the top Republican aide continued. “But in the end, he’s almost always going to be where Schumer wants him to be. Republicans hope that doesn’t happen.”

The impact on Manchin will reverberate beyond Capitol Hill. In crimson West Virginia, conservative Democrats have always acted with a delicate political balance. But his deal could further fray the tightrope.When he faces re-election in 2024, there could be a slew of Republican challengers, along with several potential candidates already started hammering him Make a deal.

Some Senate Democrats have an easy answer to the GOP’s Manchin dilemma. “They’re not happy that we found a compromise,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI). “They’ll say what they think will help their cause, which is to repeal this legislation.”

Manchin himself was magnanimous when asked about the Republican criticism at a news conference on Tuesday. “They are still my friends,” he said of his Republican colleagues. “I love them all.”

Republicans’ attack on Manchin appears to stem largely from their belief that Manchin is against such deals in principle. Although the senator has been on the negotiating table for more than a year, he has insisted that inflation concerns guide his stance on any major legislation, leading Republicans to believe that Manchin may not agree to any major legislation.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) told the Daily Beast he was surprised Manchin was affirmed. “Both Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema are openly willing to stand up and make a difference in certain areas, like rules,” Blunt said. “But, you know, legislation is a fluid process.”

Several GOP lawmakers have suggested — or made it clear — that Democratic leaders were simply cheating on him. Influential former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers reportedly called Manchin several times to persuade him that the proposal would not fuel inflation, a detail that has some Republicans questioning how he came to terms with the The legislation affects the conclusions.

Other Republicans were harsh on Manchin’s role. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who worked with Manchin on a major gun reform measure a decade ago, said Sunday that he was “taken by the cleaners.”

But Manchin staunchly defended his position that the legislation would actually begin to ease economic trends that have eroded Americans’ purchasing power. He appeared on all five major Sunday political talk shows over the weekend to downplay the bill’s tax increases for the wealthy and highlight its provisions to increase energy production.

Manchin’s former longtime aide Jonathan Kott expressed surprise that “Republicans are unhappy with him agreeing to a bill he’s been working on for months,” especially one that includes Republican priorities such as reducing the federal government’s debt. bill.

GOP backlash “will not stop,” Cotter said [Manchin] Working with his good friend in the order of the aisle in the future. “

In fact, even in the midst of GOP disappointment with Manchin, few GOP lawmakers are willing to shake off his pressure entirely. Sen. Mike Lowndes (R-SD), who has been friends with Manchin for 20 years, praised Manchin and Sinema’s opposition to the Democratic plan last year and expressed respect for Manchin’s decision.

“In this situation, coming forward, he thinks he made a good deal. Time will tell,” Rounds said. “I respect him. But I think in this particular case they might sell him a bill of lading.”

Other Republican lawmakers believe Manchin will soon regain their favor. When asked about Manchin’s turnaround, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joked: “He’s dead to us!”

While he called his friend’s deal a “big shift,” Cramer suggested that his Republican colleagues sometimes forget something important. “Joe reminds us from time to time that he’s a Democrat,” he said. “But the reason he’s disappointed is because he’s been with us a lot and we have to remember that.”

While Cramer predicted Manchin’s move could raise tensions “for a while,” he predicted Republicans would overcome it.

“Joe has an extraordinary method of building bridges,” he said, “more important than burning them.”

— Reported by Ursula Perano

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