Pelle Lowe: Remove Manchin, Synema from powerful posts

Published: 10/11/2021 4:51:22 PM
Remove Manchin, Synema from powerful posts

I’m one of millions who did not vote for Sens. Joe Manchin or Kirsten Synema for president and vice president, and yet these two not-so-covert Republicans seem to be running the country.

Manchin is the largest recipient of dark money from energy producers, but heads the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, an obvious conflict of interest. Kirsten Synema has so far received over half a million dollars from big pharma while blocking Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies.

Both of them have been invited by the president to help craft an infrastructure bill that subsidizes fossil fuels and nuclear energy while tossing pocket change at renewable energy and health care. In early June 2019, the day after he showed up at the Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum, President Biden told a group of wealthy donors at a posh fundraiser in New York “we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money ... No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”

This was not lost on many of us who nonetheless worked hard to deliver the presidency, the House, and the Senate to him. He may have hoped for the presidency and perhaps the House in a country traumatized by Trump and company, but it’s unlikely he thought he might actually have to make good on his promises to the rest of us with all the bases loaded.

Luckily, Manchin and Synema turned up to get him off the hook, and he seems content to let them and the unelected Senate parliamentarian run the game while blaming progressives, the largest caucus in the Democratic Congress, for not cooperating with his pledge that nothing will essentially change.

Now Mitch McConnell threatens to torpedo the entire economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling for programs already approved by the Trump administration. We need to end the filibuster to secure the economy and voting rights. Removing Manchin and Synema from their powerful committees may be the last resort before so-called “moderate” Democrats bring the country down.

Pelle Lowe

Northampton




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