Joe Biden has been trying to convince Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to go along with his $3.5 budget reconciliation bill.
But Biden being Biden, it has not gone well.
We previously reported that Manchin told Joe Biden that he isn’t going to get the $3.5 trillion because it’s too expensive and he wouldn’t go along with that number.
Now comes word that Sinema also has issued her own “ultimatum” during a meeting with Biden last week — that if the House “delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.”
Sinema’s office said it wouldn’t disclose details of her private conversations, but added: “She does look forward to House leadership making good on their commitment to an up-or-down vote on the historic and bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act next Monday — to create jobs and expand economic opportunities across the country.”
At least 10 moderate House Democrats are reportedly on the same page as Sinema, including Rep. Kurt Schrader.
“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” the Oregon Democrat told Politico’s Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”
Meanwhile, the leftist wing is arguing the opposite — they wouldn’t vote for the infrastructure bill if it isn’t tied to the reconciliation bill.
So it looks like infrastructure is pretty much up in the air and it’s not at all clear that they would have the votes to pass it, which would then doom the reconciliation bill. While some Republicans are willing to go along with the infrastructure bill many are not, so House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) can’t count on Republicans to help her pass it and she can’t afford to lose more than three votes, according to Politico.
Sounds like Sinema, Manchin, and the 10-or-so moderates they’re fronting for have pretty much checked the ambitions of Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) because the prospects for either the infrastructure bill or the reconciliation bill are not looking good right now.
That’s a good thing. Toss both out, get an infrastructure bill that is just infrastructure, without the kitchen sink. Get a budget bill that isn’t about stuffing in every Democratic agenda item and power grab they can imagine. Actually do the work they’re supposed to be doing, not spending all their time trying to protect their own power and agenda items.