(UnitedVoice.com) – President Joe Biden is becoming a desperate man. He needs a win in the worst way this fall after the summer blew up his administration. Since January, the White House has experienced one failure after another. The frustrations are mounting as the economy, COVID-19, Afghanistan, and immigration failures result in Biden’s approval ratings tanking among voters.
The president needs Congress to pass his signature legislative agenda to secure some semblance of a win and gain momentum. Biden’s presidency could largely be seen as a failure, just as it’s starting, without the two-track infrastructure proposals.
The pressure couldn’t be higher, and the lid could blow at any time as concerns mount among Democrats. The proposals could die a painful death as the Left and Centrists openly brawl over the legislation. On Wednesday, September 15, the president finally got two Moderates in the room to discuss their issues. To this point, both Biden and congressional Democrats appeared to ignore moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). It was a potentially catastrophic mistake the White House hopes doesn’t come back to bite them in the hindquarters.
Biden Meets With the Two Most Important People in Washington, DC
Arguably, one could make the case Machin and Sinema are currently Washington’s two most influential people. Over the last several months, Biden talked with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Both assured Biden the votes were there to pass his signature domestic legislative agenda. However, to pass a reconciliation bill, not a single Democratic Senator can vote against it in the evenly divided Senate.
Anyone listening to Manchin and Sinema knew Democrats were overplaying their hand. Only when the rubber met the road did the Left start listening to the two Moderates, who said they would not back an expansive $3.5 trillion bill.
On Sunday, September 12, Manchin made the Sunday morning talk show rounds and made it perfectly clear. He doesn’t believe the partisan $3.5 trillion bill is needed and stated it could overheat an already over-bloated economy full of government money that’s driving inflation.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Manchin laid out numerous reasons he couldn’t support the partisan bill, including, but not limited to, deficit spending that could hurt America down the road. Reports emerged last week saying the West Virginia moderate could support a much slimmer $1.5 trillion bill. However, Pelosi and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) outright rejected that and Manchin’s idea of pausing the reconciliation package.
Manchin and Sinema are in the driver’s seat, not the Senate and House leadership, and certainly not the president. So, Biden finally took some time to talk with them about their concerns. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters no one expected any conclusions following the meetings and said discussions with the Moderates were ongoing.
This concession meeting serves to demonstrate the bill is on life support, and Biden is desperate. On Wednesday, behind closed doors, Manchin told lawmakers his position was firm. Sanders contends the bill will be a minimum of $3.5 trillion. When reporters told Manchin, he responded satirically, “God bless him.” If the Democratic leadership caves to the two Moderates’ demands, they’ll lose the far Left. If they cave to the Left, they’ll lose Manchin, Sinema, and perhaps other Moderates as well.
There may not be a teetering act that balances the scales. Still, it’s anyone’s guess how the Democrats will pull this off. However, Conservatives shouldn’t take it to the bank that the “human” infrastructure proposal is dead. As long as it’s breathing, however lightly, there’s still a tiny ray of hope for the Left. Biden is surely hoping and praying.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
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