If you’ve been following the saga surrounding the Joe Biden-backed $3.5 reconciliation bill, you know things aren’t going well. As RedState reported yesterday, Democrats have moved into a period of open civil war over the “Build Back Better” agenda and a bipartisan infrastructure bill, with progressives refusing to pass the latter unless they get the former.
The problem is that the progressives have no leverage, and having a 50/50 split in the Senate does not, in fact, give one party a broad mandate to completely transform the nation into a socialist paradise. Standing in the gap on the Democrat side for some semblance of sanity, Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema find themselves facing an onslaught from the far-left of their own party.
And with things only deteriorating further today, things have entered ‘Flaming Elmo’ territory.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) September 29, 2021
Keep in mind that this “bipartisan infrastructure deal” was supported by every single Democrat senator just a month ago. But with the progressives over in the House calling the shots, the left is going to possibly nuke a bill that is full of their priorities, because they can’t get all of another bill that has even more of their priorities. If that sounds self-destructive, that’s because it is.
Democrats are being led around by the nose by the Bernie Sanders wing, and you love to see it.
If the upshot of all of this is that Sinema betrays her party, gives them nothing on reconciliation AND gets their votes to pass her bill … that's untenable. Better to kill the BIF. https://t.co/qE41bf1rVD via @TPM
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 29, 2021
Here’s the thing, though. It is not Sinema’s bill, at least not singularly. Rather, it’s a $1.2 trillion giveaway to Joe Biden, negotiated by the Biden administration, which is why I felt Republicans had no business participating in the first place. The bill would represent a major win for the president and possibly breathe new life into his collapsing presidency. Why even go there — unless it was just a ploy to lead to the infighting we are seeing today.
Yet, the progressives are so drunk on power that they don’t actually possess that they are willing to lose everything so as not to compromise on the reconciliation package, which cannot pass without Manchin and Sinema on board. But again, if the progressives don’t have leverage, and they don’t, then what exactly is the plan here?
But, just when you think things couldn’t get worse, now Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who is leading the negotiations for the progressives in the House, says she wants to vote on the reconciliation bill before the infrastructure bill.
Jayapal on msnbc now says she wants “a vote” on reconciliation before voting on infrastructure
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) September 29, 2021
That’s not a thing that’s going to happen, but it shows how absolutely chaotic the situation is right now. Manchin, Sinema, and some moderates in the House are begging their party to return to reality in regards to inflation, taxes, destructive policies, etc. while the progressives see this as their one shot to get their utopia. And perhaps they are right, given nothing will get done in an election year. But in order to cosplay as FDR, you kind of need to have massive majorities in the House and Senate. Those don’t exist, and it’s infuriating the far-left.
I’ve seen some people suggest that Manchin should be stripped of his committees until he gets on board, but he’ll just become an independent and caucus with the Republicans if that happens. In that case, say hello to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The progressives simply have nowhere to go, yet they seem determined to keep beating their heads against the political brick wall in front of them.
I mean, I’m good with it as a Republican, but man, is it a really stupid move. We’ll have to see if there’s an actual vote tomorrow on the infrastructure bill, or if Pelosi pulls it due to a lack of support. If it gets pushed back again or if the progressives outright sink it, watch out.