While the Democrats are on the verge of dissolving the infrastructure package, the Republicans are trying again to derail it
"I have no control over what Spokesman Pelosi does, but they may not get anything if they start creating conditions," Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota who also pretended to be part of the bipartisan group, told CNN . Here's another one of those guys. "Things are in flux," said Senator Todd Young, a Republican. "Here the president has to show leadership." Another, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, who is retiring next year, said, "Payments are always a function of a little fuzzy math. So we'll see. (…) We haven't negotiated the final language yet. Until that is being negotiated, there is still no deal. " And finally, Trump told BFF Sen. Lindsey Graham, "We don't have enough pay-fors".
Speaking of Trump, he attacked the negotiations and attacked Republican leader Mitch McConnell for allowing them to proceed. Politico reports that "despite these attacks, the Democrats suspect that the GOP leader is actually trying to obstruct their plans, especially after saying that his focus is solely on sticking to Biden's agenda." Do you think? "This really is the test of whether they stick with it," said Senate majority leader Dick Durbin of his Republican counterparts. Meanwhile, McConnell's trusted troll John Cornyn is sending messages to Democratic senators in the bipartisan group, more specifically Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
Cornyn from the Senate on the upcoming reconciliation law on “human infrastructure”: “It only takes a Democratic Senator to stand in the way of this abuse of the reconciliation process. And I hope one or more of them will have the courage to do so. "pic.twitter.com/12W4hCDsWt
– Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) July 12, 2021
As Republicans do their best to brake the train, the reconciliation push accelerates. Budget chairman Bernie Sanders met with President Biden Monday afternoon and is pushing for a large package.
Senator Sanders just met with President Biden. He says "no", he's not on board with $ 3.5 trillion. He says he will fight to make the proposal "as robust as possible". pic.twitter.com/vvSPTPe1gV
– Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 12, 2021
Majority leader Chuck Schumer is aiming for a vote on the budget decision next week. That means aiming to reach an agreement on the falling numbers by this week, which may or may not happen. Budgets Committee Democrats met with Schumer late Monday, according to Sanders & # 39; Meeting with Biden. Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council and Louisa Terrell, Director of Legislative Affairs attended the meeting. After that meeting, the senators refused to say whether they exceeded the 10-year spending target of $ 6 trillion that Sanders is pushing, "or the gap between that and a lower ceiling that centrists postulated, somewhere between 2 trillion US dollars and $ 3.5 trillion. "
Given that they'll likely have to collapse the tough infrastructure elements of the bill, which Republicans are likely to ditch, they must keep thinking big. Especially since this could be the last opportunity to do some really big things before next year, when medium-term policies are likely to limit ambitions.
The Democrats already have big goals for the package. “We'll get yes and no. We know that, "said US Senate Chairman Sherrod Brown of Ohio of the discussions about what will be included. “The most important thing is that we make it big. The public wants us to grow up. We're making a difference for a generation on some of these issues. ”These definitely include Biden's proposals for universal pre-kindergarten, two years of free community college, the expansion of extended child tax deductions, and paid family and sick leave.
It could also include lowering prescription drug prices, though it's not clear how they'll achieve that – the ability to negotiate Medicare prices, or an earlier drug bill that Finance Senate Chairman Ron Wyden met with last year Republican Chuck Grassley has drafted. A cohort of Democrats is pushing for immigration reform, a path to citizenship for dreamers and key workers with temporary protection status, including farm workers.
Another group wants to include some elements of the For the People Act's electoral reforms, and another is pushing for broadband to override all Republican states that have banned local governments from operating local networks. The Georgia Democrats want to see a solution to fill the Medicaid void in the dozen states that are still refusing to expand under the Affordable Care Act. They have a plan to bypass the states and allow the federal government to put those in the health insurance void. Sanders is working to both lower the Medicare eligibility age and expand its coverage to include dental, visual and hearing care.
Another priority is to include some of the things that Biden had in his original big package that was marginalized by the bipartisan group, especially many of the climate regulations, as well as worker protection, applicable wage and union contracts for infrastructure work.
All of this may or may not be agreed by Thursday. The faster the Democrats do this, the better. It's time to leave the Republicans in the dust.