House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrat President Joe Biden, feeling impatient over the gridlock regarding Biden’s much diminished “Build Back Better” plan announced plans to push forward with the $2.1 trillion “bipartisan” infrastructure bill on Thursday but progressive Democrats would rather cut off their nose to spite their face, with angry ‘squad’ member Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) reportedly saying “hell no” while storming out of the meeting room.
Far-left Democrats are in a no compromise mood following the major adjustments made to Biden’s initially planned $3.5 trillion spending by moderate Democrats Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Progressives are demanding that their radical reconciliation framework be included in the bill in full and are seeking methods of forcing Manchin and Sinema’s vote.
Progressive Caucus leader representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said on Thursday that she needed to see more of the legislative text before attempting to push a vote on a bill that already had too many ‘no’s to pass.
Additionally, further fracturing within the party comes from socialist leaders Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who each oppose the compromise deal that Pelosi and Biden are trying to broker. Sanders claims that the reconciliation framework is completely unacceptable as it sits now, emphasizing that the bill needs language to “[take] on the pharmaceutical industry,” as well as “subsidize prescription drug prices.”
Senator Warren tweeted her feelings on the matter, saying that she is siding with progressives to force the infrastructure and Build Back Better bills to be passed together.
Kyrsten Sinema, meanwhile, advanced her negotiating position by suggesting that she may greenlight the $1.85 trillion rebranded bill that has been negotiated with the White House.
Progressive Democrats are skeptical about Sinema’s assurances, feeling bitter about her denying passage of their infrastructure spending plans for months. Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) stated it most simply by saying that “Sinema and Manchin… can’t be trusted.”
That seems to be the popular sentiment amongst radical Democrats (which is most of them), who are bitter over having their radical spending plans reigned in by a combination of slim majority control of the Senate paired with two doggone moderates with some fiscal common sense.
It remains unclear whether or not Pelosi will attempt to advance the infrastructure bill this week. Pelosi’s record is one of caution, not liable to try and push a bill that is unlikely to pass.
Author: Melissa Coleman