"It is time to vote" on the bipartisan infrastructure package, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says. "Holding this bill hostage is not going to work for getting in support for the reconciliation bill."
With that brief statement Manchin pretty well blew up the Biden, Pelosi, Bernie Sanders $6 trillion spending binge.
Don’t get us wrong, cutting it down from $6 trillion-plus to something in the neighborhood of $3 trillion is still way too much, but a further implosion of the Democrats’ agenda is not out of the question.
House Democrats have been battling internally over bipartisan infrastructure legislation, as progressives have persistently demanded that they also pass a massive social spending bill that has been the subject of much negotiation.
Fox News reported Biden said it would not be hyperbolic to suggest that "the House and Senate majorities and my presidency will be determined by what happens" in that time frame.
Progressives appear not to share that sense of urgency. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., one of the deputy whips on the Congressional Progressive Caucus, had appeared to be in lock step with Biden just over a week ago.
"The president looked us in the eye and said, ‘I need this before I go represent the United States in Glasgow,'" Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told "Fox News Sunday."
On Friday, however, Khanna seemed unconcerned that this did not happen.
"If this takes another 10 days, why is that the worst thing?" he asked. "I mean, don’t we want to be careful and really get all the details right and then deliver this for the American people?"
Several sources on a call among progressives told CNN that President Joe Biden has committed to progressives that all 50 Democrats in the Senate would support the legislative text as voted on by the House and that the Congressional Progressive Caucus is taking the President at his word. However, “moderate” Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who are key votes, have not yet publicly endorsed the framework.
House Democratic leaders had said Saturday they planned to push for votes on both the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and the larger $1.75 trillion economic plan sometime this week.
However, Manchin and Sinema have voiced specific demands that stand at odds with major elements of the bill envisioned by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
"This is not about Senator Sinema or Senator Manchin," Sanders told "State of the Union" host Dana Bash. "It’s about 50 senators and the outrage."
"Last year, the top CEOs made hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in outrageous levels of compensation," Sanders said, echoing the familiar stump speech from his various campaigns. "So the issue is right now the pharmaceutical industry is doing everything it can to make sure that one out of four Americans is unable to afford the prescription."
And Biden’s tanking approval numbers are a real drag on his ability to help progressives drive the bill to the Left.
A new ABC News/Ipsos poll out Sunday finds Democrats are failing to sell the legislation to the public, who are broadly unaware of what is in the spending packages or skeptical they would help people like themselves, or the economy, if signed into law.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll, which was conducted using Ipsos' KnowledgePanel, found that a plurality (32%) of Americans think the bills would hurt people like them if they became law, while fewer (25%) think it would help them. Nearly 2 in 10 (18%) think the bills would make no difference, and 24% said they didn't know.
Even among Democrats alone, fewer than half (47%) think the two bills would help people like them. A quarter of Democrats think the bills would make no difference for people like them and about 2 in 10 (22%) don't know how they would impact their lives. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Republicans think the bills would hurt people like them, and so do about 3 in 10 (29%) independents.
Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” whether he would support the framework bill without social and climate additions from the far left, progressive negotiator Rep. Khanna was noncommittal, so, Sen. Manchin’s demand that the Senate vote now is not a good sign for progressives who expect to get their way by wearing down more moderate Democrats.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), call today and tell your Senators and Representative you oppose the Biden – Pelosi – Bernie Sanders big spending outrage and demand they vote NO when the bills come to a vote in their respective chambers.
Sanders priorities reconciliation
Sen. Joe Manchin
separate reconciliation package