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Republicans Break Ranks on Impeachment

  • January 13, 2021

Trump toured areas where a border wall is being built near Alamo, Texas, yesterday.

A below-the-radar story in Washington is that Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has just become the most powerful guy in town. With the Senate split 50-50 and Democrats in control, their most conservative member may find himself in the position of playing Solomon on major legislative items.

But a closely divided Senate also raises the importance of another figure: Senator Bernie Sanders. That’s because, as the chamber’s budget committee chairman, he controls the process of “reconciliation,” whereby certain kinds of laws can be passed by a simple majority and cannot be filibustered.

As the incoming head of the budget committee, Sanders will be in a position to exert major influence over a range of domestic policy measures. High on that list will be passing another economic recovery package, and Sanders has expressed his intention to seek an additional $1,400 in stimulus payments for Americans who recently received $600 federal checks.

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