The country’s most powerful senator has spoken.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), a moderate Democrat who more or less serves as the 50-50 upper chamber’s swing vote these days, gave President Biden’s infrastructure proposal — as it’s currently written — a thumbs down on Monday. In a radio interview with West Virginia’s MetroNews, Manchin said raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, as envisioned in the plan, is just too high, though he did say he could get behind a hike to 25 percent.
The senator claimed he wasn’t alone, either. “There’s six or seven other Democrats who feel very strongly about this,” he said. “We have to be competitive, and we’re not going to throw caution to the wind.”
It appears the White House is preparing to eventually push the bill through without Republican support, but they will need Manchin on board no matter what, so his stance is crucial. Still, the latest development wasn’t unexpected. It’s likely Biden’s proposal will go through numerous changes over the next several months, and by the time it’s actually up for a vote on the Senate floor, it should look significantly different. Manchin, it seems, is just kicking off the negotiations.