Watching the Democrats self-destruct over the Biden bill ...the one with the social services...it reminds me why I am so happy not to be in a legislature. I just do not have the patience. (I spent over 20 years lobbying the Colorado legislature on behalf of whatever government or nonprofit organization I represented at the time......and I dreaded every minute of it. I usually was successful, but sitting, testifying, and waiting for hours in the lobby..was just not much fun. I am sure Pelosi will pull it off someway, but I do not know with whom I am more disgusted,, the progressives' attempt to use blocking of other bills (infrastructure, i.e.) as blackmail or the total stubbornness of Manchin and Sinema. Guess there is a reason the donkey is the party symbol. I want those progressive programs...all of them...but numbers are negotiable...and the Manchin and Sinema blockade infuriates me because neither will tell what they would cut or what their dollar amount is. Manchin is blue in a ruby-red state. He needs to show a victory, but realize he is in a coal-producing state and when he ran last, his money came from the fossil fuel industry. Sinema, a newby Senator, was financed heavily by pharmaceuticals when she ran and a few days ago,,she held a fundraiser with big business lobbyists attending.. Manchin will need to show he cut the total budget (his public stance),, including the green part. Sinema will have to show she got some little goody for her funders, though I doubt anyone will let her get away without the competitive bid for medicare formularies. Perhaps there is a tax offset somewhere. So here is mine: Give all a small haircut of an arbitrary percent that is in the social services reconciliation bill. and even a corresponding cut in tax increases business. ..Everybody can point to how effective they were...and the progressive agenda is still intact without elimination of any portion of it, just underfunded for now. The only ones most upset at that would be the GOP Senators who got outfoxed. This is a compromise on the reconciliation bill that will make no one happy and everyone happy at the same time. The Democrats, all of them will have bragging rights in 2022 and 2024. Oh well, Biden will figure it out...or not ..An emerging battle cry of Democrats is: Democrats produce; Republicans obstruct. It is a great slogan but will only work if the Biden agenda is enacted.
Update 10/4/21: These are theories not tested by public polling I can find, but here is my explanation of probable reasons for the failure of the process so far. . Two stubborn Senators with their own agendas for re-election have deservedly gotten the blame, but there are other factors, too. The delay of the vote until the end of October is a symptom of the failure on the part of progressives to educate the public The passion the progressive leaders in the House have for the Biden-backed reconciliation bill is not shared by many outside of Congress. The time is needed to make their case better and to deal with the two stubborn senators. The setback is temporary.
Where progressives have gone wrong. They assumed that because they got control of the two houses of Congress and the White House, this legislation was their mandate. It may have given them an opportunity, but the reason Biden won was not to "build back better" It was that he was not Donald Trump and Biden was an acceptable alternative to the madness of a chaotic, narcissistic leader who used fear as his vengeful wrath and hatred of others as tools, and with a lust for keeping himself in power..Progressives falsely assumed that because each provision of the reconciliation bill backed by progressives polled high, there was a lack of public knowledge that those popular provisions were included or that their constituents wanted all of the various contents in one package. It is a segmented appeal. Not everyone has children, needs child care, or will be attending a community college, or has large bills to be paid out of pocket for prescription drugs. The passion for saving the environment or understanding the connection of global warming is more than it once was, but still not on the top issue of many. That blanketly calling any of the provisions good for everyone or is worthy of being condemned as socialism depends on ideology and values. It speaks to how much how many care about their neighbors in the moral sense or hate everything that smells of the word socialism and do not want their tax money going to others they do not like. . The failure of getting the policy accepted without mandates that people should get COVID shots or wear masks for the sake of others should be instructive about the extent of selfish, self-centered public attitudes. There is also a great deal of ignorance of how the legislative process works and that wide-sweeping legislation that steps on major interests such as fossil fuels and pharmaceuticals and additionally extends the social safety net for which so many have no sympathy. An understanding of costs spread over x years needs better messaging. That taxing the rich seems to be an approach that has widespread traction, but the question is whether how much money is needed to fund the provisions. This.is more of an inside ball game being played among the progressives and the moderates, leaving the rest of us wondering what provisions will be cut and if so, which.