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Progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., is “fearful” about what could happen to Democrats’ massive reconciliation spending plan in the Senate, she told Axios, because moderate Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and others will have to approve of the bill in order for it to become law.
“We have corporate Dems,” Tlaib, D-Mich., said in a Friday interview published Sunday.
Tlaib further told Axios that she is worried Manchin, Sinema, and others are “influenced and guided by folks that don’t have the best interests of the American people in mind.”
The comments come as the Senate is poised to take up the massive spending bill that is the keystone of President Biden’s economic agenda after Thanksgiving. Sinema and Manchin are in regular talks with Democratic leaders, including the White House, about the contents of the bill but they have not agreed to vote for anything yet.
After a crushing loss in Virginia and tanking poll numbers for the Biden administration, Democrats in the House abandoned any effort to “pre-conference” the reconciliation bill with the Senate, deciding instead to vote on it as soon as they could. Pre-conferencing is when majorities in both chambers agree on the details of a bill before either votes on it, to ensure it does not need to get kicked back to the first chamber after the second makes changes to it.
That means the Senate is nearly certain to make major substantive changes to the legislation that may be difficult for House progressives and “Squad” members like Talib to stomach.
Spokespeople for Sinema and Manchin did not respond to requests for comment from Fox News Monday morning.
Both moderate senators are regular targets for attacks from progressives and liberal activists. Protesters followed Sinema into a bathroom in Arizona recently, and demonstrators surrounded Manchin in his car and refused to let him leave a parking garage earlier this month.
Manchin specifically is the subject of speculation that he may change parties, but he dismissed the idea in a talk with the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., recently.
“You think by having a D, or an I or an R is going to change who I am,” Manchin said at the Economic Club event. “I don’t think the R’s would be any more happier with me than the D’s are right now … I don’t know where in the hell I belong.”
Democrats face a crush of deadlines when Congress returns from Thanksgiving. Not only do they plan to pass the reconciliation bill before Christmas, but government funding expires on Dec. 3 and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says that government is set to default on its debt as early as Dec. 15 if the debt limit isn’t increased.