Joe Biden has enough on his plate with the Republicans opposing him at every step. But elements within his party are set to undermine his standing at the crucial Glasgow climate summit. His hopes of cajoling international partners into commitments to cut down on carbon emissions could get derailed due to the opposition of Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin.
With the Senate evenly balanced between the Republicans and the Democrats, a single cross vote could be defining and Krysten Sinema and Joe Manchin have pounced on the opportunity.
Both toe the moderate line within the party, the middle ground of American politics. But there ends the similarity. While Krysten Sinema, the free-thinking 45-year-old, is from the deserts of Arizona, Manchin comes from the mountains of West Virginia. The rugged 74-year-old has extensive links with the press corps and hosts elaborate parties.
Kyrsten Sinema And Manchin Stand At Opposing Ends Of The Spectrum Within The Party
But they stand united in opposing Joe Biden in several steps, most notable his climate program. This ambitious goal is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to half of the level of 2005.
Manchin’s reason for opposing a shift to clean energy is transparent. He survives on the funds of the coal barons back in his state. His income from energy investment was half a million dollars while the coal barons continue to be his biggest backers and have contributed the maximum to his campaign.
Kyrsten Sinema’s reason for opposing the green bill is lost in the haze of the Arizona deserts. She began her career as a Green Party activist before her steady climb up the political ladder back in her home state.
As she role up the political spectrum, she shifted to more middle-of-the-road politics. Her win was the first in 30 years for the Democrats.
Kyrsten Sinema has been a truant and a loose cannon before, opposing the raising of minimum wages. She also skipped a procedural vote for the formation of the committee investigating the insurrection on January 6. Her refusal to open up to her agenda has been even more infuriating for the party.
Perhaps she is styling herself as an avowed independent in a state where registered independents outnumber members of her party. Maybe it could be a winning proposition for her, though at the cost of her party’s standing.