Dem Sen. Joe Manchin Pressured By Newly-Formed PAC To Support $2000 Stimulus

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By Josue Monroy 

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is getting pressure from a new Political Action Committee (PAC) aiming to encourage his constituents to hold Manchin to task over his opposition to new $2,000 stimulus payments for families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

No Excuses PAC went live earlier this week and was founded by Corbin Trent, the former Communications Director for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and former staffer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. The PAC’s website proclaims that “now Democrats have no excuses,” a reference to the recent Senate runoffs in Georgia which helped Democrats secure a majority in the Senate while also holding the House of Representatives and the White House. According to the PAC, now is the time for Democrats to pass legislation to bring more financial reprieve for Americans in need. 

“For years, we’ve been hearing what the Democrats would do if only the Republicans weren’t in their way. Now they control the House, the Senate, and the White House,” reads the website.

Manchin has been a vocal opponent of additional stimulus payments to families that have not received any assistance since the CARES Act allotted $1,200 payments back in April 2020. His opposition has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle, and he is holding out despite president-elect Biden’s support for the $2,000 payments. 

“$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks,” tweeted Biden on Jan. 10. 

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Manchin was asked if he was supportive of giving $2,000 stimulus checks to individuals making $75,000 or less per year. He stated that he would be on board with “targeted checks” that would be sent to those who are in dire need. 

“Sending checks to people that basically already have a check and aren’t going to be able to spend that or are not going to spend it, usually are putting it in their savings account right now, that’s not who we are. We have done an awful lot of that, it’s time now to target where the money goes,” he replied. 

Manchin also said that he would rather support infrastructure spending of  $2 trillion or $3 trillion to “get people back to work”. 

The West Virginia Senator has been receiving more media attention in recent months due to his unique position as a potential swing vote in the Senate as a conservative Democrat that has sided with Republicans in the past. He and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have made the argument that stimulus checks have been going to those not in need, with McConnell going so far as calling them “socialism for rich people.” 

However, the CASH Act, as the new stimulus bill is known, would in fact help the nation’s poorest citizens during their time of extreme need, according to a recent report by Yahoo Finance.

The 20% of households with the lowest incomes would see their annual income increase by 29% if Congress passes the provision under the CASH Act,” stated the article, referring to data by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP). This would be a financial windfall for Senators Manchin and McConnell’s respective states, whose population is among the poorest in the nation. 

According to a 2019 report by Business Insider, Kentucky ranked as the eight-poorest state in the U.S., with a median household income of $51,348 and a poverty rate of 16.4 percent. West Virginia fared worse coming in as the third-poorest state in the nation, with a median household income of $45,392 and a poverty rate of 16.6 percent.

As the incoming administration faces unprecedented challenges during a raging pandemic and a political crisis, one of the few issues that Democrats can address immediately with their new-found majority is getting checks in the hands of Americans in need. 

However, without Joe Manchin’s support, the CASH Act could be crushed under the weight of political posturing. This is why the No Excuses PAC has taken to the airwaves to encourage West Virginians to pressure their Senator to support the stimulus package. 

In a radio ad posted to the PAC’s website titled “Joe Don’t Know,” Corbin Trent calls out Manchin for his lack of support of the stimulus payments while pointing out that if President Trump and most Democrats could come together on the issue, he could as well. The ad states:

“Unfortunately, our Senator, Joe Manchin, thinks he knows better than both our president and the Democrats in Congress. I guess Joe just don’t know what it’s been like to live through the pandemic, we should call his office and let him know that we need our $2000 checks and we need them now. Let’s go Joe!”

Voting in the Senate on the CASH Act will happen after newly-elected Democratic Senators from Georgia, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are sworn in later this month. 

Josué Monroy is a 4th year International Relations major at UC Davis. Hailing from Santa Cruz, CA, his interests include Latin American literature and politics, as well as playing music in his spare time

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17 thoughts on “Dem Sen. Joe Manchin Pressured By Newly-Formed PAC To Support $2000 Stimulus”

  1. Keith Olsen

    “$600 is simply not enough when you have to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table. We need $2,000 stimulus checks,” tweeted Biden on Jan. 10. 

    I have no problem with money going to people who have been hurt financially with the pandemic.  To people who are actually having to choose between paying rent or putting food on the table cut them a check.   But way too much of this stimulus is going to people who haven’t been hurt financially.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Here, I agree… I think the maximum income to receive the stimulus checks should be much lower.  And perhaps increased a tad.

      The problem is it’s a ‘one size fits all’ stimulus, that doesn’t reflect the difference between cost of living in W VA, KY, and CA, or difference between rural and urban… not sure how to correctly ‘target’ the relief/stimulus…

       

      1. David Greenwald

        It’s far from perfect, but we lack the administrative system I think to properly assess who has been harmed directly and you can argue most people have been harmed in some way. The decision was made early on this was the simplest and quickest way to get money to people who need it. And no – $600 or $2000 isn’t that much, but it does help.

        1. Alan Miller

          Maybe for the first set of checks where we didn’t see it coming.  But you can’t just keep giving out free money forever.  Even just requiring people to sign a form for requesting a check with the single question, “Do you really really need this money (and it’s better that you have it then someone truly in need) ?” would save billions.  Although there would be a lot of people just looking for free money, millions of us would say “No” and not apply.

          1. David Greenwald

            Agree that we can’t give it out forever. On the other hand, it has kept the economy from completely collapsing. That has to be worth something.

      1. Eric Gelber

        Good point. And even more difficult to determine is whether someone is at imminent risk of needing assistance. The stimulus payment serves a preventative function as well.

      2. Keith Olsen

        How would you set about determining who had been hurt financially?

        That’s not difficult.  Start with those who didn’t lose their jobs or take a pay cut.

         

  2. Keith Olsen

    Another proposal in this stimulus package is hiking the national minimum wage to $15/hr.  That’s a terrible idea at this time with so many businesses struggling to survive and the current high unemployment figures.  The timing of this couldn’t be worse.

  3. John Hobbs

    “But way too much of this stimulus is going to people who haven’t been hurt financially.”

    It is a booster shot for the national economy, a way to prime the pump, if you will.

    “Another proposal in this stimulus package is hiking the national minimum wage to $15/hr.  That’s a terrible idea at this time”

    Unless you are trying to live on $9/hr.

      1. Tia Will

        A tax holiday helps only those who have a taxable income. It does not help those whose income was destroyed during the pandemic whether small business owner or previous worker.

         

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