Another step toward passing the so-called bipartisan infrastructure deal has been taken. Today, the filibuster was broken, with Republicans joining with Democrats to prostrate themselves before Joe Biden and his chief policy goal. The uni-party lives.
But remember, the GOP wants you to put them back in charge in 2022.
The Senate breaks filibuster for the infrastructure bill, setting the stage for the final vote. pic.twitter.com/ccUR8biAlZ
— The Hill (@thehill) August 7, 2021
I haven’t seen the final vote tallies yet, but it’s safe to say that the same 17 Republicans who played turncoat on the motion to proceed did so again here. It’s such an astonishing move to see them fold like this, given everything that has transpired.
The negotiations started off with some combination of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi blowing up the deal no less than three times. Despite that, the Republicans in question soldiered on, truly doing the people’s work of spending over $1 trillion in the middle of an inflationary boom. Even after the Biden and the Democrats announced they were going to double-cross the GOP collaborators via reconciliation, making the deal completely pointless, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, and the rest kept pressing forward.
Later, Biden would blow up property rights via an illegal order in defiance of the Supreme Court, and not even that would deter our Republican heroes from rushing to give Democrats a major policy win. If you are starting to wonder how any of this makes sense, you aren’t alone.
Obviously, there are lots of payoffs in the bill itself. That’s a given with any massive spending bill like this. But you’d still expect even the most spineless of Republicans to understand the political ramifications here and to act accordingly. Instead, they seem to be ignoring everything that’s going on around them, from the Democrats’ gamesmanship to Biden breaking the law to destroy people’s rights. It’s as if this infrastructure deal is the only thing that exists for the Republicans supporting it. It makes no sense at all.
Perhaps this is all still part of some misguided attempt to hold back a reconciliation push, but Democrats have already made it clear that they are going forward with that. The only other explanation here is that maybe guarantees have been garnered behind closed doors from Manchin and Sinema — that they hold the line on key issues like the ProAct, which Democrats will no doubt try to pass via reconciliation somehow.
I don’t think this is going to work out well for Republicans, though. They are alienating voters that they need in order to regain power in 2022, and in the process, they are giving Biden an out on the negative aspects of the infrastructure deal. If inflation keeps increasing, he’s now got GOP senators to blame it on. It’s just a really dumb calculation, in my view.
The right play here was always to do what Democrats did to Trump — be the opposition and ride the wave the next midterm. Handing Biden his top policy want is doing the exact opposite of that. I don’t think GOP voters are going to forget it either.