(UnitedVoice.com) – On September 30, Moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) torpedoed the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion semi-Socialist partisan bill. Since then, it’s been relatively quiet on Capitol Hill as the Left and Centrists try to figure out where to go from here. That doesn’t mean nothing is happening as both sides wrestle with unplugging the logjam created by the widening gaps in the Democratic Party.
On Monday, October 11, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote the Democratic caucus a warning letter. She contends many Democrats want a smaller bill to include fewer items at a higher price point. That would force Democrats to cut social and climate programs because they can’t use accounting gimmicks to pay for them. It could set the party up for another war of words and more contention as the Left angles to keep as much of its agenda intact as possible. However, Manchin drew his line in the sand. The only way that line moves is if he does it himself. That appears unlikely.
Did Pelosi Doom the Infrastructure Bills?
By proposing to reduce the number of items in a bill, Pelosi stated her belief the initial $3.2 trillion partisan reconciliation plan could still be transformative. That’s unquestionable. $1.5 trillion is still a lot of money, and money doesn’t always equate to policy changes that impact the country. The real question is, will the Left agree to her assessment?
If past performance is any indicator of the future, the answer is, no, the Left won’t be amenable to the Speaker’s recommendation. Despite the challenge, Pelosi said her caucus must make difficult decisions soon. It’s not clear precisely what Pelosi recommends cutting from the proposed legislation. One thing is sure: She is forcing House Democrats to begin choosing which social or climate change measures they want to prioritize.
Will Democrats propose expanding senior care or raising the wages of senior caretakers? What climate change proposals will they choose to put in the bill or take out of it? If you listen to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), none of it’s coming out. He says the Left compromised enough when they came down from $6 trillion to $3.5 trillion.
The danger for Democrats is it’s becoming a take it or leave it bill. That appears to be okay with Manchin. Last week, he told the media if the Progressives don’t like the Moderate response to the far-Left legislation, the Left needs to win more elections. That’s an honest assessment of the situation.
Time is running out on the Democrats and President Joe Biden. Republicans are chomping at the bit to make their case to voters. They believe, and polls suggest, the GOP will take back the House and potentially the Senate in 2022. If that happens and the Democrats fail to pass their reckless plan this year, it could be lights out for another decade or longer. The numbers are not there to suggest otherwise in a country that’s voting 50/50 for the time being.
When the House comes back from recess in a few weeks, it could get interesting once again. Pelosi very well may have just killed any momentum gained behind the scenes. In the meantime, bits and pieces of what’s actually in the proposed bill will continue to leak out.
Don Purdum, Independent Political Analyst
Copyright 2021, UnitedVoice.com