Oct 27 (Reuters) – Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has leveraged his party’s slim majority in Congress to reshape President Joe Biden’s spending bill, slashing its initial price tag of $3.5 trillion and blocking policy proposals on climate and social programs.
In a 50-50 Senate where all Republicans oppose the spending plan, Democrats can only pass it if every one of their members signs on and Vice President Kamala Harris casts a tie-breaking vote.
That means the party has no choice but to bend to Manchin’s will if they want the bill to pass. He has used that clout to knock down key parts of the package.
Manchin hails from West Virginia, a heavily Republican, sparsely populated coal- and natural gas-producing state that sits at or near the bottom of U.S. health, education and infrastructure rankings.
The founder and partial owner of a private coal brokerage, Enersystems, Manchin has been reluctant to rein in fossil fuels, complicating…