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Since the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States, the Democratic Party has controlled all the major political organs of the country: the presidency, the House and the Senate. However, Democrats and Republicans each control 50 seats in the Senate. Democrats have a majority because if a tie occurs, Vice President Kamala Harris could also vote. Recently, however, Democrats have had great difficulty getting 50 votes, mostly because of one person: Joe Munchin, one of two senators who voted from West Virginia.
Mansin, 73, has been in office since 2010 and is considered one of the most conservative of democratic senators: so it is very difficult to persuade him when it comes to progressive reforms such as the Biden administration and the rest. Democrats have been proposing for the past few weeks. Democrats need 50 votes, and every major reform actually goes through him: many for this reason They consider it “America’s Most Powerful Senator”.
In fact, to be sure of approving a reform in the Senate, 60 votes are required, i.e., those necessary to avoid the interruption procedures allowed by internal regulations. Munchin, of course, opposes Senate reform, but not just power.
Manjin for many years now Insists The key reforms are to be agreed between members of both parties. “The truth is, neither my Democratic friends nor my Republican friends have all the answers,” he wrote. A recent article Given Washington Post: Always This has always been the case: The entire generation of senators before us have bowed their heads and set aside their pride to solve the complex problems facing our country. We must do the same: the problems affecting our democracy are not insurmountable if we choose to tackle them together.
For Mancini, it was natural to seek reconciliation with his opponents: before coming to Washington he worked primarily in local politics in West Virginia, where everyone knows: New York Times Remember He helped mount the floor of Shelley Moore Capito’s home as a young man, who is now another senator from West Virginia, elected with Republicans.
As for the moderate Democrats, Munch is a reference to the apparent desire to always seek a compromise with the Republicans. But for the majority of the party, especially after the simultaneous transfer of the Democrats to the Left and the Republicans to the Right, Manjin is a monument to an era that no longer exists, during which differences between parties are laughable and a compromise is always at hand.
30 or 40 years ago, that is, more or less by the time he entered politics, Munch could be considered a Democrat by all means in defiance of a conservative position, he shared with many, and today he is practically the only one opposing abortion, in favor of maintaining investments in fossil fuels Opposing homosexuality and opposing strict restrictions on the purchase and use of firearms.
Many of his positions have been explained, starting from the state where he was duly elected over the years. West Virginia is one of the poorest in the country, as well as one that is very homogeneous from an ethnic point of view: only whites live there, the poorly educated and many are in economic trouble in the area due to the gradual closure of coal mines. Although Democrats controlled all state-owned enterprises forty years ago, today the Republicans have the largest number of state votes: in the 2020 election in West Virginia, Trump defeated Pitton by about 38 percent.
Despite this change, Manjin retained his position. Sometimes his interests continue to coincide with those of most Democrats, for example, in terms of the expansion of public health care (West Virginia is also the average major state Bad longevity), But often it went differently. In March he was one of two Democratic senators To resist To double the federal minimum wage at this time Prevents His party’s efforts to implement infrastructure reform are one of the key points on Biden’s agenda, and electoral reform has many elements in favor of whites and the majority of small rural states.
Munchin expects a compromise on both reforms: he has been working with a parliamentary committee to find a two-party agreement on infrastructure reform, and in recent days he has spread a series of points ready to be included in electoral reform, praised by popular African American rights activist Stacy Abrams. However, it is not clear when he will vote in favor of the two reforms: his party colleagues are now sure that this will always happen at the end of the legislature.