Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is cooking something up. However, everyone inside the beltway is focusing on what’s happening between the prominent Democratic centrists.
Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have been “exchanging text back and forth” ahead of key tax and climate bills, according to The Hill. Democrats’ razer-thin majority in the Senate has made the pair important players and led to speculation about Sinema’s lack of input in a proposed tax hike.
The proposed tax increases would supposedly bring in $739 billion over the next ten years while cutting the deficit by $300 billion or more. Manchin has been working on legislation with Schumer and without Sinmea though he said he welcomed her input.
“We had a nice time. We had a nice time. Next?” Manchin told reporters Tuesday who asked for details of Sinema’s suggestions after the pair spoke.
“We’re exchanging text back and forth,” he added. Manchin called Sinema “extremely bright” and said the Senator “works hard.”
“She makes good decisions based on facts. I’m reliant on that,” Manchin said. The West Virginia Democrat added that he’s working with both Democrats and Republicans as well to get the legislation done.
However, Sinema was cut out of the initial talks and reportedly only heard about the proposed legislation through a news release leading some to question whether she saw this as a slight. “She’s my dear friend,” Manchin said.
“But why bring anyone in and all their aspirations get high and the drama we go through and it doesn’t work out?” he reasoned. “I wasn’t really sure” whether they could strike an agreement,” Manchin said.
“Sen. Schumer is in control of the timing,” Manchin further explained. “People getting mad because they think this is some kind of orchestrated coup against them is just so wrong.”
Schumer and Manchin will have to curry favor with a variety of lawmakers if they hope to have their bill pass. However, it’s yet unclear whether they’ll court Sinema behind the scenes by including her pet provisions.