With a 50-50 split in the United States Senate, there are two things Joe Biden cannot afford: Democrat defections and a filibuster. Senate rules require 60 votes for cloture to move on legislation, and recent years have turned the filibuster into an obstruction tactic by the minority party.
Senator Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from a very red state, has found himself in a very powerful position. His support or opposition to key legislation could make or break Joe Biden’s agenda in Congress.
So, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at the fact that Joe Biden has nominated Gayle Conelly Manchin, Senator Joe Manchin’s wife, to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is an economic development partnership with 13 states designed “to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia.” The position requires Senate confirmation.
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This nomination comes at a time when Manchin has publicly expressed opposition to extreme gun control, a $15 minimum wage, as well as eliminating the filibuster.
So, what exactly is Biden up to?
It is not unprecedented for the spouse of a member of Congress to serve in an executive branch position. For example, Senator Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine Chao served as Transportation Secretary under President Trump and Labor Secretary under President George W. Bush.
But, it’s hard to ignore the special circumstances surrounding Mrs. Manchin’s nomination that suggests, regardless of her qualifications, an ulterior motive by Joe Biden, or whoever it is making his decisions for him.
Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, Gab, Facebook, MeWe, Heroes, Rumble, and CloutHub.