West Virginia is conservative

The King of West Virginia and Chairman Sanders

Is Joe Manchin the King of America now? Is the Democratic Senator from West Virginia the new Mitch McConnell, who determines which political projects fail in the US, like the outgoing Republican majority leader in the US Senate did? McConnell, who is hated by Democratic voters, had not allowed more than 400 laws that the US House of Representatives with its new Democratic majority had passed since 2018 to vote. A law to gradually increase the minimum wage to $ 15, for example. Because the Democrats with the election victories of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in Georgia have a slim majority of 51 to 50 votes, if Vice President Kamala Harris contributes the decisive vote, Chuck Schumer, the new Democratic majority leader in the US Senate, must in the future negotiate with Joe Manchin - the most conservative senator in his party, according to conventional observer opinion.

Some come from a state that Donald Trump won last year by 39 percentage points last year. Its political profile is correspondingly conservative. As a senator of a mining state, he pretends to be a coal friend, is against abortion, the legalization of migrant children and, in 2015, was the only Democratic Senator to vote against the introduction of marriage for everyone. In the past, Conservative Democrats in Congress have obtained concessions on their behalf by threatening to disapprove. One might think that there is little hope for an ambitious left-liberal democratic agenda in a legislature in which the party cannot afford to deviate. Even more: Without a few Republican votes, Joe Biden cannot advance his agenda, according to many observers, that the next two years can at best be expected to be lukewarm minimum compromise legislation.

The reason for this is the filibuster. The voting rule stipulates a majority of 60 votes for legislative projects. It was introduced in the 19th century to encourage bipartisan collaboration in the US House of Lords and to ensure that laws have widespread support. In the political polarization that has been increasing for a number of years, it is primarily responsible for parliamentary paralysis. But it could be changed with a simple majority. McConnell did just that in 2017. Since then, the filibuster has been suspended for federal judicial appointments. The Republicans have used this over the past four years to install numerous right-wing judges in high courts. Moderate democrats could only rail about a breach of democratic norms. Progressives have been calling for the filibuster to be abolished for years - if you have the opportunity. You will now put even more pressure on the question.

Even Barack Obama - still a secret party leader - spoke out in favor of abolishing the filibuster last year. But not only Manchin, also three other more conservative Democratic Senators reject the abolition of the Filibuster, Bernie Sanders has done it too - so far. An alternative would be to partially suspend the rule for individual projects. But there are other procedural tricks for passing progressive legislation, such as budget reconciliation.

Unlike in 2008, when the new Obama administration took office, progressive Democrats will hold the heads of more committees in this legislature, but have greater influence. One of them is Bernie Sanders. The new chairman of the Senate Budget Committee has already announced that he will use all the instruments at his disposal "briskly" to provide money for politics to reduce inequality and for the "working families" in the country. He wants to stay within the framework of Biden's agenda, but implement it as fully as possible.

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