The Senate GOP Got Played

The Senate GOP Got Played #Senate #GOP #Played Welcome to Lopoid

Updated July 28, 2022 7:31 pm ET

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin

Photo:

ELIZABETH FRANTZ/REUTERS

Senate Republicans are furious that Democrats

Joe Manchin

and

Chuck Schumer

announced a partisan tax and spending deal late Wednesday—only hours after the GOP had provided the votes for a giant semiconductor subsidy bill. The Republicans got played, all right, but the fault is their own.

Mr. Manchin is a Democratic politician who loves spending and has no particular problem with higher taxes. He’s also a deal-maker to his bones. Republicans thought that by supporting giant infrastructure and computer-chip bills, the West Virginian might stop a partisan spending bill. GOP Senators now look like tourists who paid $300 from LaGuardia for a taxi to their Manhattan hotel.

Republicans helped Democrats pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill last year full of green pork. They boasted about victories for permitting reform, while keeping out a tax increase and $80 billion that Democrats wanted for the Internal Revenue Service.

Some victories. The Schumer-Manchin bill includes the $80 billion for the IRS and some $327 billion in new taxes. Mr. Manchin has also received the promise of a vote for a bill on permitting reform, which shows how weak the reforms were in the infrastructure bill.

Republicans look even worse this week for helping to pass a $280 billion semiconductor bill less than four months before the GOP could retake Congress.

Mitch McConnell,

the GOP Senate leader, had threatened to block the semiconductor bill if Mr. Schumer moved ahead with a partisan reconciliation bill. But the GOP lost all leverage when 17 GOP Senators waved through the chip bill, and Messrs. Manchin and Schumer took advantage. Senate Republicans are left naked in a barrel in the middle of Pennsylvania Ave.

To add it all up, Republicans have co-signed some $1.28 trillion in new non-defense spending this Congress, while they now stand helplessly by as Democrats pass another $433 billion in spending, plus new drug price controls.

Republican hopes of retaking the Senate in November were already fading thanks to

Donald Trump’s

support for weak candidates, and this legislative humiliation won’t help. It will cost the country even more.

Main Street: “Inflation is just like alcoholism,” said economist Milton Friedman. “In both cases…the good effects come first, the bad effects only come later.” Could there be a lesson here for Joe Biden? Images: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the July 29, 2022, print edition as ‘Senate Republicans Got Played.’

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