The Progressives Flail Wildly After Nancy Pelosi Signals She's Ready to Cave to Joe Manchin

AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades

While the chances of a deal before month’s end are still slim, Joe Manchin may have finally bent Nancy Pelosi to his will. The House Majority Leader had formerly promised to connect the infrastructure deal and the bill containing Joe Biden’s “build back better” agenda. At the time, I opined that it was a major blunder, essentially setting her party up to fail because the progressives simply did not have the leverage to enforce such a move.

In the end, that was correct. Now, Pelosi is signaling she’s ready to cave, allowing the infrastructure bill to be passed before any vote on reconciliation. In fact, she’s willing to do that with only a “framework” in place for the latter.

That move follows on the heals of Pelosi’s second in command, Steny Hoyer, admitting that any further delay in the infrastructure vote does nothing to help Democrats pass their agenda. Pelosi’s concession is significant and shows that her party’s leadership has realized they overplayed their hand.

Unfortunately for Joe Biden, but very fortunately for the rest of the country, the progressive wing still hasn’t gotten the message. Pramila Jayapal continues to strut around like she has any actual negotiation power when the other side, namely Joe Manchin, is willing to settle for nothing passing.

If Jayapal truly has the numbers to stop the infrastructure bill, she’d be nuking some of her own party’s priorities in order to chase a fantasy that is never going to come to fruition. Republicans would be perfectly fine with that, but that doesn’t negate how politically dumb it is.

Cori Bush, perhaps the most radical member of the House (and that’s saying something), confirmed she is in agreement with Jayapal. That probably means the rest of the squad is as well, which would be enough to kill the bill via a party-line vote.

But, that assumes that Republicans don’t step in and ensure its passage by crossing party lines. That’s a very real possibility if the vote ends up close, especially as some of the more squishy GOP members have shown a penchant lately for throwing the Democrats a bone. Perhaps they think they can’t win in 2022 without saying they passed something? Regardless, that means the progressives may not even have the power to stop Pelosi from giving in. You can expect their wild flailing to continue, though, right down to the last minute.