National and Minnesota Report

As the ongoing dispute with Sen Joe Manchin (D-WV) continues over President Joe Biden’s (D) Build Back Better Plan continues we view the negotiations in a similar light as negotiation with members of the Iron Range Delegation were.

Some of the similarities are obvious, both places have extractive industries as the economic base. But, unlike West Virginia, the strength of the Steelworkers union was able to challenge the Iron Mining companies and gain more work protections than was the case in the coal industry. This is because the Mineworkers Union didn’t have as much political sway nor were the industry interest balanced with the interests of the workers.

In St Paul, during their heyday when Sen Doug Johnson (DFL-05, Cook) was chair of the Tax Committee, the Iron Range would hold out until they got their way. It became easier for Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe (DFL-02, Ada) to accommodate the Rangers rather than have a protracted problem.

Additionally, in Minnesota we’re learned long ago in order to build support for a bill you treated it like a Christmas Tree and gave different legislators opportunity to hang their own ornaments on the tree. They even call this process a Christmas Tree Bill.

It seems to us from our vantage point, the way the Build Back Better Bill has been presented to Manchin bis take it or leave it. Why hasn’t Biden just asked him what he wants? Wouldn’t it just be easier for the President to say our nation would build the world’s largest solar panel manufacturing facility in West Virginia and provide training for coal miners to learn a new skill?

This would be an opportunity for Joe Manchin to not just hang an ornament on the tree, but place the star atop and the power lighting the entire display could be provided my solar power.