Manchin forces Democrats to hit the brakes, but he’s not in the driver’s seat

Manchin forces Democrats to hit the brakes, but he’s not in the driver’s seat


Even with the Democrats’ trifecta control of Washington in both chambers of Congress and the White House, every piece of the Democratic agenda faces one key question: What does Joe Manchin think of it?

The West Virginia senator, who is one of the most conservative Democrats in the Senate and the only statewide Democrat who was elected in a state that President Biden lost by 39 points, effectively has veto power over any measures that Democrats want to pass without Republican support in a 50-50 divided Senate.

In a January interview with Manchin, CNN host Jake Tapper attempted to get the senator on the record on a number of policy issues in order to determine how far Biden could push his agenda: Where is he on additional $2,000 checks? The legislative filibuster? Statehood for Washington, D.C.? Bans on semiautomatic weapons?

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Manchin has not been completely clear on all sticking points, but he has drawn lines in the

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