Note: The following is Sen. Roger Wicker’s Weekly Report and is provided by the Senator’s office
51 Senators Put Socialist Agenda on Life Support
Christmas came early for Americans concerned about inflation, the national debt, and the threat of socialism. After months of inconclusive negotiations, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin finally said “no” to the President’s $5 trillion tax-and-spend bill, meaning that a majority of the Senate now opposes this partisan legislation. President Biden and his allies seemed shell-shocked by Manchin’s decision, but they should have seen it coming. The center-left Democrat had been hinting for months that he was not inclined to support this bill given its massive price tag and the worsening effect it could have on inflation. Speaking on Fox News, he said, “If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it.”
Top Democrats are now lashing out at Manchin, but they have only themselves to blame. The American people did not give them a mandate to pass a socialist spending spree and tax hike. Americans elected a 50-50 Senate and a closely divided House, and President Biden ran for office as a unifier. Yet since his election Mr. Biden has sprinted to the left, abandoning his promise to stick to a centrist agenda. He should have realized this gambit would fail. As Democrat Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger said, “Nobody elected him to be FDR.”
Republican Strategy Paid Off
The apparent defeat of this bill would not have happened without a careful Republican strategy. This past summer, Republicans were successful in separating real infrastructure priorities from the Democrats’ tax-and-spending agenda, leading to two separate bills. I helped negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will provide billions of dollars to support hard infrastructure in our communities, such as roads, bridges, rail, broadband, and water projects. This bipartisan bill won the support of Senator Manchin, eliminating a potential excuse for him to vote for the radical tax-and-spending spree. This strategy appears to have paid off – America will now be spared a socialist nightmare so long as Manchin sticks to his guns. This tactic also helped preserve the Senate filibuster, a vital consensus-building tool that is currently preventing a host of left-wing proposals from becoming law.
This setback for socialism is terrific news for our economy. It means that the Republican-passed tax cuts from 2017 will remain in place for now, giving our economy a real chance to recover. It means families will not lose control over child care decisions anytime soon, welfare will not be put on steroids, and inflation will have a chance to settle down. It also means super-rich residents of states like New York and California will not get a special tax break championed by Senator Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can all be grateful these bad ideas are not moving forward.
Far Left Not Getting the Message
Unfortunately, Washington Democrats have not yet accepted reality. They are now redoubling their efforts to bully Senator Manchin into submission, which has already failed once. Senator Schumer has vowed to hold a formal vote on the tax-and-spend bill, even though it is almost certain to fail. Democrats are also plotting ways to attach parts of the bill to other must-pass priorities next year. Once again, it seems they only know how to govern from the far left.
As reality sets in, I hope my Democrat colleagues will begin to focus on the issues that really matter to Americans: stopping inflation, protecting our border, creating jobs, and making full use of our nation’s energy resources. Republicans will remain focused on unleashing the boundless potential of this great country.