While most Americans see a proposed law that would forbid members of Congress from trading individual stocks as a path to restoring public confidence in their lawmakers, some Dems see it as an opportunity for revenge against their most aggravating foe, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
The West Virginia senator outraged his fellow party members by refusing to change the filibuster and killing President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better Act.
“I have always said, ‘If I can’t go back home and explain it, I can’t vote for it. Despite my best efforts, I cannot explain the sweeping Build Back Better Act in West Virginia and I cannot vote to move forward on this mammoth piece of legislation,” said Senator Manchin in a statement he released in December 2021.
The move led many of his fellow Democrats to label him a traitor.
BREAKING: AOC tears into Joe Manchin for opposing the Build Back Better bill and says there must be “consequences to his betrayal of working families across the country, of the president of the United States” and of his party. RT IF YOU THINK DEMOCRATS MUST PUNISH MANCHIN!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) December 20, 2021
In light of his perceived betrayal, some Democrats have suggested Manchin’s opposition to Build Back Better, which would see hundreds of billions of dollars flow to the fight against climate change, can be attributed to his ties to the coal industry, a frequent target of Green energy advocates.
According to a report in the New York Post, Manchin’s stake in Enersystems, a West Virginia-based coal company founded by Manchin in 1988, could potentially have influenced his decision.
Manchin’s earnings from Enersystems in 2020 came to $492,000, and Senate disclosures reveal his ownership in Enersystems is worth between one and five million dollars.
And here’s where some Dems are apparently getting snarky.
Under new legislation introduced by Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) earlier this month, members of Congress would be forbidden from trading individual stocks, a practice which has made or saved many members small fortunes during the pandemic era, including Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), who both dumped stocks following a private COVID-19 briefing.
The bill would also require members to put their assets in blind trusts.
If passed, members would have to either sell off their assets or give up control of them to a trustee, who would then manage all aspects of the investments without any involvement from the stakeholders.
Stakeholders like Manchin, note some Democrats, who would essentially lose control of his interests in the company he built.
“Some Dems want to use it to get revenge on Manchin,” said an anonymous source from the senate floor.
But if his opponents are hoping to cause Manchin grief, they may be in for a disappointment.
The senator already uses a blind trust for some of his assets, the Post reported, citing a question on the matter posed by a Bloomberg reporter back in September.
Asked if his stake in Enersystems would influence his vote, Manchin reportedly responded, “I’ve been in a blind trust for 20 years. I have no idea what they’re doing.”
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