Last chance for progressives to show they aren't gaslighting us
I like how this headline is worded. Because is there anyone is America today that doesn't expect the progressives to fold like an accordion?
The White House's $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation is out, and make no mistake: Progressives got rolled.
The question is what they'll do next. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) insists this version of Build Back Better "needs to be improved," while Missouri Rep. Cori Bush (D), more bluntly, says she feels "bamboozled." The Democratic majorities are so thin legislation can be defeated if only a handful of members go rogue, to say nothing of the whole Progressive Caucus. This fact has given moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) enormous influence on the process up to this point. Now it's time for lawmakers further left to flex their muscles. They will, and they speak for more Democrats than Manchin or Sinema, especially in deep blue districts.
But Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) still have one ace in the hole: As much as the progressives may talk like the Freedom Caucus, they don't define success the same way. The Freedom Caucus is often content to tank a bill and get nothing. Progressives don't work that way.
Hell, they haven't even finalized the wording on this joke of a bill, and they expect progressives to simply approve it.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aiming to hold a vote Thursday on the $550 billion measure, but progressives have insisted that a larger social safety net bill proceed alongside the Senate-passed infrastructure package. Democrats, however, have yet to finalize the social policy bill due to sharp disagreements between moderates and progressives.
Biden's expected visit on Thursday, first reported by CNN, could briefly delay his planned departure for overseas summits. But White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday that “there’s flexibility” built into his schedule.
House progressives say they're willing to stop holding the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage based on a presidential promise.
Why it matters: A key sticking point for progressives supporting the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was their requirement the Senate first pass the nearly $2 trillion social safety net expansion they favor. Now, they say senators only have to promise they'll do so before they support the BIF.
I don't know if this is true, but it sounds true, and that would explain why Pelosi/Shumer/Biden are pushing it through now.
Congressional Black Caucus mis-leadership is all ready to cave in.
"I don’t think we’re in a position to keep kicking the can down the road," Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said Tuesday.
"Is it perfect?" Beatty said when asked how she feels about the reconciliation bill, and whether a deal is close. "We don't live in a perfect world, and we're not going to give you a perfect answer, but I'm going to give you another ‘P,’ and it's called progress."