West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, along with other conservative members of the Senate Democratic caucus, are now all but demanding that changes be made to the coronavirus legislation which just arrived from the House, including a reduction in unemployment benefits and restrict who is eligible to receive the proposed $1,400 direct payments to tens of millions of Americans.

According to the Washington Post, President Joe Biden is trying to keep Democrats such as Manchin in line:

President Biden launched a lobbying effort targeting fellow Democrats on Monday to unify them behind his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill as the Senate prepares to move forward on the massive legislation this week.

“Democrats don’t have a vote to spare in the Senate, but several moderate-leaning senators have raised concerns about the structure of unemployment insurance benefits and Biden’s plan to send $350 billion to state and local governments, among other issues.

“Biden convened a group of these Democrats on a conference call Monday afternoon, the first in a days-long outreach campaign that will also include calling into the weekly Senate Democratic lunch on Tuesday and addressing the House Democratic caucus on Wednesday evening.”

Specifically, Roll Call reports, Manchin wants to see the following changes:

  • “A $300 benefit in response to criticism that some laid-off workers could end up making more money on unemployment than they would on the job.”
  • “Tightening income eligibility for the $1,400 stimulus payments.”

The White House says it’s amenable to changes in the bill now that it’s in the Senate, but it remains to be seen if the Biden administration will go as far as Manchin and a few Democrats are wanting. And that could slow down passage of the bill at a time when economic aid is badly needed to stimulate the U.S. economy and keep American businesses afloat.

But the larger question seems to be this: Are we even sure that Joe Manchin is actually a Democrat?

Featured Image Via NBC News