This really interesting article is by Tim Murphy, Senior Reporter, Mother Jones. Here is an excerpt:
In the early hours of January 6, in that impossibly brief window between the Georgia special elections and the Capitol insurrection, a meme started to circulate about what this new Democratic reign in Washington would be like:
West Virginia after we're done bribing Joe Manchin pic.twitter.com/91PAyNheZG
— James Medlock (@jdcmedlock) January 6, 2021
It was a joke, but only sort of. With no margin for error, Manchin, the caucus’ most conservative member, would command outsized influence on the party’s agenda. Morgantown might not be getting 23rd-century skyscrapers or jetpacks—I’m not even sure the 23rd century will be all that pleasant—but when it came to spending, he could name his price. His predecessor, Robert Byrd, was obsessed with securing funding for pet projects. (There is a Wikipedia page titled “List of places named after Robert Byrd.”) What would Joe Manchin like to buy with his blank check?
The problem with that line of thinking soon became apparent—what Manchin often seems to want is not more money for his state, but less money, broadly speaking, for everyone. In a terse interview with Fox News on the last Sunday before Christmas, Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia, pulled the plug on Build Back Better, the omnibus package of social and climate- policy programs that comprises the remaining bulk of President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives in November, includes things like universal pre-K, monthly payments to people with children; and half a trillion dollars to save the climate. Manchin, after engaging in a not-especially-elaborate dance with Biden and the rest of his caucus for much of the summer and fall, said he had “tried everything humanly possible,” but that “this is a no.” Final answer.
Continue reading here.