West Virginians have given Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin a huge thumbs down after his enthusiastic support made possible the Senate’s passage of the disingenuously named Inflation Reduction Act last month.
A poll released on Wednesday showed that a whopping 66.1 percent of respondents had an “unfavorable impression” of Manchin and just 26.3 percent had a “favorable impression,” according to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Of the 762 participants, 3.8 percent were “unsure” and 3.6 percent had “no opinion.”
The poll, conducted between Aug. 24 and 26, had a 3.5 percent margin of error.
Although Manchin does not face re-election until 2024, the survey also looked at how Manchin would fare against several potential challengers if the election were held today.
The poll found the senator would lose to his 2018 opponent, Republican Patrick Morrissey, the state’s attorney general, by a margin of 49.5 to 36.2 percent. Manchin defeated Morrissey four years ago by 3.3 percent.
In a matchup with Republican Rep. Alex Mooney, who represents West Virginia’s 2nd District, Mooney would prevail by a margin of 44.9 to 37.9 percent.
Finally, the poll found that the state’s current governor, Republican Jim Justice, would defeat Manchin 46.5 to 32 percent.
The News and Sentinel reported that at last month’s West Virginia Republican Executive Committee summer meeting, party leaders said that defeating Manchin in 2024 would be a “top priority.”
Manchin was considered a hero by Republicans last year for his opposition to President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better spending bill. The senator understood that this bill would not only worsen inflation, but would needlessly increase our already out-of-control national debt. Bucking his party, he realized that the rising rate of inflation was not temporary.
But that was then and this is now. On Aug. 16, Biden signed the $737 billion Inflation Reduction Act into law. Manchin, supposedly one of the last centrist Democrats left in Washington, stunned politicos by not only supporting but proudly joining with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to introduce the bill in late July.
And as a result, the public is now saddled with this boondoggle of a bill that analysts agree will not reduce inflation. It will, however, raise taxes on the middle class and subsidize “green” energy programs.
The act will also dramatically expand the scope and size of the IRS. In fact, it increases IRS funding by $80 billion, nearly six times its current annual expenditures of $13.7 billion, and adds an army of 87,000 new auditors to its ranks.
Given that the IRS has been stockpiling weapons in recent years, buying up $700,000 in ammunition this year alone, this truly gives new meaning to the phrase “weaponization of U.S. institutions.”
We must be honest about the economic reality America now faces. That’s why I’m proud to support the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which will address record inflation by paying down our national debt, and by lowering energy & healthcare costs. MORE: https://t.co/oPZF1gilEh
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 27, 2022
Manchin’s turnabout was especially egregious because the Labor Department had just announced that inflation had climbed 9.1 percent year over year in June, a level not seen in 40 years.
Up until then, the West Virginia senator had been the single vote standing between the Democrats’ passage of needless and expensive climate change legislation and fiscal sanity. So, why did Manchin cave?
Because, contrary to the image of integrity he’s tried so hard to project, Manchin had a price, and Schumer agreed to pay it.
In order to secure Manchin’s vote, Biden and Democratic leaders promised to facilitate the approval of a gas pipeline in West Virginia. This would require passing legislation that would “overhaul the permitting process for energy infrastructure,” according to The American Prospect, a liberal website.
Unfortunately for Manchin, the promised legislation may never materialize.
The Hill reported this week that Schumer promised to attach permitting reform to the “short-term continuing resolution to fund the government, which he said must get passed this month.” On Wednesday, Schumer told reporters, “Our intention is to add it to the CR.”
Opposition to this legislation among Democratic lawmakers is fierce, especially in the House. According to The Hill, Schumer’s decision to add it to the CR “will make it tougher for House progressives, who feel little obligation to help Manchin pass one of his top energy development priorities, to block it.”
Even so, there are indications that Schumer may not be able to deliver.
— Common Dreams (@commondreams) August 16, 2022
And wouldn’t that be the ultimate payback?
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