West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has been opposing several proposals made by his party over the last few months, particularly the budget reconciliation bill. Now, he is speaking out against an IRS bank monitoring proposal that is trying to get included in the spending package. While Democrats introduced the measure as a way to finance their budget, it would require banks to report the total amount of money that goes in and out of accounts where totals exceed $10,000.
Democrats have said that the proposal would also “better enable” the IRS to catch people evading taxes. But some, such as Manchin and Rep. Abigail Spanberger, have said that the proposal could jeopardize their rights to privacy without any clear tax law enforcement purpose. Manchin later shared how “no one” should be in anyone’s bank account.
Sen. Manchin has continued to battle against his own party and has even threatened to leave for good and become an Independent. But one politician, Republican Sen. Mike Lee, said he believes Manchin should switch parties and become a conservative. Some have pointed out that it wouldn’t be the “worst” decision for Manchin, as he is from West Virginia, a conservative state that revolves around coal. Coal is just another energy source that Biden has been trying to destroy. If Manchin became a Republican, it would give the party a 51-50 majority in the Senate. [Manchin has since denied he intends to leave the Democrat Party]
Manchin has even acknowledged that he is “totally out of synch” with 48 other Democrats and that he’s just trying to survive in a very divided Congress in a very divided country.
Manchin has been so against the IRS proposal that he even met with President Joe Biden to talk about how messed up it is to create an “unfair intrusion” into people’s everyday finances. The original proposal had applied to accounts whose inflows and outflows exceeded $600 but that it has been scaled back to exclude paychecks and government checks. Manchin said he believes the provisions will be “gone” and that the details are too “murky” to be voted through.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial board went so far as to suggest that the political goal of this proposal is to create a mechanism, particularly an algorithm, for triggering audits that the IRS can rifle through. It would give the IRS even more access to taxpayers’ business and financial records. Manchin has continued to reject this way of generating revenue for the multi-trillion budget, as well as raising taxes on corporations and wealthy Americans. He has argued that it would eventually trickle down to middle-class Americans.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has also opposed several measures of the infrastructure package and has slammed House Democrats for their “ineffective stunts” to gain leverage on a separate proposal. Despite being heckled by radical left advocates and Dem leaders, Sinema has made it clear that her vote belongs to Arizona and that she does not trade for political favors.
“I vote based only on what is best for my state and the country. I have never, and would never, agree to any bargain that would hold one piece of legislation hostage to another,” Sinema said.
It’s clear that more and more Democrats are getting frustrated with their own party and conflicting promises. They have pretended that differences of opinion in the party “did not exist” and it has led to denying the country all of the economic opportunities they need right now. It’s clear that the Democratic agenda serves the Democrats first and the American people second. Manchin and Sinema see right through that.