Democrats Try to Heal Rifts
The WSJ reports Democrats Try to Heal Rifts, Pass $2 Trillion Spending Bill
The tensions ramped up this month as Democrats worked to pass their separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which has been linked for months with the larger spending package. Party leaders emerged victorious on the infrastructure bill, but only because 13 Republicans brought it over the finish line after six Democrats voted no, protesting a decision to delay the social spending bill.
Both Mrs. Pelosi and the head of the progressive caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), said they expect to pass the bill this week. Centrist Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D., N.J.), one of the original holdouts who asked for the [CBO] data, also said he believes the legislation will be approved. Democrats can’t lose more than three votes, requiring near-unity.
A White House official and lawmakers said the president told progressives at a meeting on the day of the vote on the infrastructure bill that if the infighting didn’t stop, he would have to drop the Build Back Better package and move on.
In public, Mrs. Pelosi has said differences of opinion are part of being a Democrat. But behind closed doors, she has expressed frustration that Ms. Jayapal, who leads roughly 100 House progressives, is making it difficult to pass the president’s agenda by making demands that run counter to the needs of centrists, some of whom are in vulnerable re-election campaigns.
Ms. Jayapal’s frustration with the speaker was evident on the day of the infrastructure vote, according to several people familiar with the matter. She complained to the Congressional Progressive Caucus that she had been left out of the end of the negotiating process and said that the speaker owed her a “f—ing apology.”
A spokesman for Ms. Jayapal called the account a “dramatic rumor” that he said was false.
I believe several people over one. Regardless, the infighting which lasted seven months shows just how fragile this has all been.
Meanwhile, inflation is soaring and Build Back Better will add to the costs.
Is Biden serious when he says he may drop BBB and move on if the infighting does not stop?
I rather doubt it, but if Joe Manchin decides to drive a really hard bargain, we may find out.