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Joe Biden finally had a good week. How long can that last?

2. Joe Manchin

But he could stop it!

One breakthrough that helped get the agenda moving was when progressives in the House decided they’d drop the demand that the Senate pass the BBBA before the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the leader of the progressive caucus, said that her group would put its trust in Biden to ensure the BBBA could get 50 votes in the Senate. We shall find out in December how much that trust is worth, because Manchin still hasn’t come out in support of the bill. It’s hard for those of us who cover Joe Manchin to figure out exactly what he wants, but we don’t think it’s much easier for him, either. A typical Manchin answer to any question about his support for the BBBA is, we’re talking, we’re talking, good faith, everyone’s in good faith, just keep talking and talking, that’s all I’m gonna say, talk talk talk talky-too. The one concern he does openly fret about, though, is inflation, saying it’s the single biggest complaint he hears back home in West Virginia. Last week’s inflation report, which came in at a 6.2 percent annualized rate, didn’t help, and the House version of the BBBA would spend a lot more money than it would collect in the first five years. You are so sick of hearing about this man, we understand. But when the Senate returns from Thanksgiving break to take up this reconciliation package, we regret to say that he, and his thoughts about the consumer price index, are all you’re going to hear about.

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