Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California is known for her stark resolve in holding the absurdly wealthy to account for not paying their fair share.
Her questioning in committee hearings has gone viral on numerous occasions, with social media users praising her takedowns of big bank and pharma CEOs, often with the help of her trusty whiteboard to lay out the numbers.
Now, Porter is turning that scrutiny onto one of her colleagues in Congress, moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin.
Manchin recently pledged he wouldn't vote for the upcoming $3.5 trillion (over 10 years) reconciliation budget bill, which would grant expanded access to childcare, vital pushback against the climate crisis, and a wealth of other progressive developments.
In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Manchin raised all-too-familiar concerns about spending, writing:
"Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation."
With Democrats holding only a razor-thin functional majority in the Senate, Manchin's vote threatens not only the passage of the reconciliation bill, but of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill recently passed by the Senate. The House is holding off on a floor vote for the bipartisan bill on the condition of the reconciliation bill's passage.
Porter put the pressure on Manchin in a recent interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruehl.
Porter pointed out that, rather than lowering the price tag at the expense of lifesaving features of the bill, it could be paid for with sensible revenue measures like greater IRS enforcement and expanded taxes on corporations.
She then suggested the actual motive for Manchin's opposition:
"I have the will to do it. The question is does Senator Manchin, or is he more concerned about his corporate donors, including large corporations, the oil and gas industry, the big pharmaceutical industry, and others who are getting away with paying nothing under our current tax system?"
People praised Porter for calling him out.
She's far from the only progressive elected official to call out Manchin's allegiance to fossil fuels and corporations.
Manchin has yet to respond.