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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sat for an interview with Bret Baier on Special Report last night. Senator McConnell himself has posted the video below on YouTube. In it he explains the Schumer/Manchin Bummer Beyond Belief light bill as beyond his power to affect. It is a reconciliation package that requires only the Democratic majority for adoption. “Reconciliation is something done by one party only,” McConnell explained. “There’s nothing we could have done to prevent the Democrats from doing a bill that only they will vote for — so it’s not a question of being played here,” he added. Translation: Republicans are innocent bystanders.
However, Senator McConnell vowed to stop any reconciliation bill before he and 16 other Republican Senators joined the Democrats to pass the CHIPS spenderama. The CHIPS spenderama was the predicate to the Schumer/Manchin deal. It was to be held hostage to prevent any reconciliation bill. See Senator McConnell’s tweet below.
Baier took up the question as posed by Joe over Twitter: didn’t Republicans get played? That was the point of Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column “Manchin and the GOP dupes.”
In his remarks to Baier Senator McConnell implied that the Spenderama 17 relied on the previous public protestations of Joe Manchin. Really? Baier simply moves on from McConnell’s explanation quoted in the first paragraph above.
The 17 GOP Senators might have been dupes. They might have been collaborators. What were they thinking? Who did what to whom?
That question deserves an answer that should be reported out, but it appears to be beyond the scope of the Washington press corps. At the least, Senator McConnell should be pressed for an answer with specifics beyond the pat self-exculpation he served up to Baier.