One of the things Joe Biden actively campaigned on was the fact that he had some 47 years of experience in Washington, DC and knew how to get things done. He repeatedly talked during the campaign how divisive Donald Trump was, and how HE knew how to work across the aisle to get things done. Throughout the first eight full months of his term, Biden hasn’t worked across the aisle once. In fact, he now has his own party’s blood spewing all over the floor of the Capitol and he’s the guy that hopes to bring it all together.
It won’t be easy.
At risk is his domestic agenda for the first four years of his term. Biden has proposed a couple of spending bills. The first one, the infrastructure bill is a little more than a trillion dollars. It’s one that narrowly defines infrastructure as what you and I would probably call infrastructure, roads, bridges, railways, airports, you know, infrastructure! But it’s the $3.5 trillion add on that is gumming up the works. That’s where the Democrats have redefined “infrastructure” to include stuff like “human infrastructure” (whatever that is), and child care, and free community college, and a bunch of climate change funding that really doesn’t have a damn thing to do with infrastructure, regardless how you define it.
Here’s Biden’s problem. Not every member in the House and Senate are on board. Oh, I’m not talking about Republicans, I’m talking about Democrats. In the House there is only about three votes that separate the two sides. And there have been plenty of squabbles saying that if it’s $3.5 trillion, the moderates won’t go for it. If it’s less than $3.5 trillion the socialists won’t go for it. And either group is large enough to kill the bill.
In the Senate, there is the same problem. There is currently at 50/50 split in the Senate, which means that if all Democrats vote for the bill, VP K-baby Harris gets to break the tie in favor of Biden. But there’s a problem. More than one Senator on the Democrats’ side have signaled that they are not in favor of spending the $3.5 trillion just yet. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are two of the dissenters. Both have met with Biden at the White House, and both have, so far, stayed true to their original intentions. They aren’t going to go for the $3.5 bill as it stands.
Biden is hoping to bring Chuckie Schumer, Pelosi, and a few of the dissenters on both sides to the White House and hold a Kumbaya moment. He wants to mend the fences that are torn apart by the different factions of his party. And there is no guarantee it’s going to work. We are looking at getting something done very quickly before the budget sends the government into shutdown mode. And this time, Dems’ can’t point their finger at the Republicans. It’s all their doing. The current budget ends on the 30th.
The House has passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 3rd, and raise the debt ceiling above the current $28 trillion limit. But that’s a non-starter in the Senate where Manchin has already indicated he won’t be voting for anything that ties the continuing resolution to an increase in the debt ceiling. Only one Republican has signaled that he’d be in favor of voting for it, and they need 60 votes to get this passed. So, the likelihood of a government shutdown is looming large. And if Biden can’t bring the two sides of his own party together, how is anyone to believe that he can do it with Republicans? In short…no one believes he can.
Lay in for a big bag of popcorn. It’s about to get fun!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!