Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia says he is in support of $1,400 in relief checks, but only if there is some sort of means testing. Never mind there are many millions of people who need those funds now, he wants to negotiate so a few thousand people can’t receive the funds (and base it upon 2019 income when 2020 was when people were hit with income loss). It’s fine if those in need go hungry, lose health insurance, lose their utilities, or don’t have other basic needs being met. No, that is all fine because it’s not like we don’t have a pandemic and job losses still occurring, and small and medium businesses are shuttering left and right. There’s no urgency.
Then Senator Manchin opposes raising the minimum wage to $15.00 nationwide. He wants to make it $11.25 because the people in his state apparently don’t need $15.00 an hour to make ends meet and better themselves. $11.25 will allow them to remain just above the poverty line without getting ahead. Heaven forbid his constituents might actually earn enough to put a little bit in the bank for later, or they have a little extra pocket money to help the local economy. I’m wondering if he realizes, or somehow has forgotten, his constituents are some of the poorest people in the country. A wiser person might think Senator Manchin cares naught about the people suffering in his state.
Finally there is the filibuster. Senator Manchin is joined by another Senate Democrat, Senator Sinema of Arizona, in opposing the abolishment of the filibuster. Apparently, they, and many in the Senate, are okay with being a do-nothing body. When the trumpublicans can obstruct as a minority party, as they did when they were the majority party, something is wrong with the system. Abolishing the filibuster will provide the opportunity to do some real good for the country, the American people, and the world in many cases.
These are just two examples of politicians being clueless about the real world in which the rest of us must reside. Unfortunately, there are way too many other examples from which to pull.
My hope is West Virginians and Arizonans pick up their phones and pens to call and write their Senators to encourage them strongly to vote for what’s best for their constituents, not to get drunk on being powerful enough to hold up votes on things such as the filibuster, the minimum wage, D.C. statehood, and Covid relief funds. Ask them please to use their power for the good for once.
West Virginia and Arizona voters and residents, can we count on you to help pull these two Senators away from the dark side, and use the force within them?