Beneath the 'infrastructure' passage celebration, progs have the most to worry about
Fresh after the Virginia losses, Joe Biden got the "victory" he was looking for, winning House passage on his pork-filled $1.3-trillion "infrastructure" bill.
According to the Washington Examiner:
peaker Nancy Pelosi wrestled her reluctant liberal faction into voting to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package, providing President Joe Biden with a desperately needed legislative victory.
The House passed the bill late on Friday, 228-206, with 13 GOP votes, just enough to give Democrats the bare majority needed to pass the bill. Six Democrats voted against the bill.
The $1.2 trillion measure passed the Senate on Aug. 10 and had been languishing in the House, where liberals had refused to help pass it unless a $1.75 trillion social welfare bill was approved along with it.
The infrastructure measure was pushed over the finish line in the House after last-minute lobbying from the president, who called reluctant liberals huddled in a committee room to assure them the social welfare measure bill, which he named the Build Back Better Act, would not be left behind.
He issued a statement during debate on the bill, pledging, "I am confident that during the week of November 15, the House will pass the Build Back Better Act."
Now that the House has passed the infrastructure bill, Biden can sign it into law.
This is pretty disgusting, given that if this bill is like all the other infrastructure bills passed in the past 20 years, nobody's road is going to get fixed, and nobody's bridge is going to get upgraded, and the broadband thing will be something leftists continue to tout and talk about. The cash will fall into the hands of politically connected cronies and their greenie contracts or else be used to bail out spendthrift blue states, if not wind up in bloated leftist public employee union pension funds with wokester investment requirements that somehow always end up underfunded. The bill for the mess will add $300 billion to the deficit, which the taxpayers will in the end have to "pay for." Hellooo, tax hikes.
For anyone normal, it's a rotten thing. For any Republican who's normal, it's frustrating as heck to see that 13 gullibles from their own party actually voted "yes" on the scam.
But to be fair and objective about this, it's not as bad as it could have been. And to look at the silver lining, it's the congressional leftists who now have the most to worry about in the wake of this passage. It's not the conservatives.
Three reasons stand out for this argument:
One, the decision to hold the vote at all was an override of the congressional left's bid to hold the whole thing hostage to their Bernie Sanders–crafted "reconciliation" bill of social spending. The congressional progressive caucus and its "Squad" fanatics had demanded either a vote on both bills or else a vote first on their social spending bill (not even possible, given the reconciliation rules) before they'd consent to voting on the infrastructure bill. For about three months, they'd held the matter hostage, forcing Pelosi to halt the votes, and ensured that nothing got done. It was their porkulus way or the highway, and, for a while, they were successful.
Pelosi broke through that gambit by recruiting 13 moderate and RINO Republicans to vote for the infrastructure bill and somehow got the broader congressional progressive caucus to agree to vote on that much, too, in exchange for passage of a rule to put the social spending porkulus part of the bill upfront for the next vote. That was a bitter pill for the left, but Nancy has a way of getting her way with them, which probably includes threats of some kind. Nevertheless, six Squadsters, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, stuck to their guns and voted against passage of the infrastructure bill on the high-chair grounds that they didn't get their Bernie-crafted bill passed alongside it. On that matter alone, they're now irrelevant, because the bill's passage sends its own message: that Nancy doesn't need their votes for passage, because she's now got the moderate Republicans.
How does it feel to be irrelevant, Alex?
Two, the bill wasn't all that bad as far as I can tell. I read the long CNN description of it here — roads, bridges, broadband, bullet trains, cash to favored black communities (that vote Democrat) divided by ugly highways and tram lines, Amtrak bailout, electric vehicle chargers (fueled by coal and natural gas), electric school buses, oink, oink, oink. Three hundred billion dollars will be added to the national debt from this, and that is bad stuff, but not as bad as it could have been. As far as I can tell, I don't see any of the sick stuff that has been bruited around in past months — tens of thousands of new IRS agents, power to spy on all U.S. bank accounts with $600 transactions, illegal alien amnesty, green news deal, gas taxes, tax hikes galore, the stuff of nightmares. All of that is found in the porkulus "reconciliation" bill, which the progs pine for. The Examiner noted that some creepy greenie passages were thrown out of the infrastructure bill, too, making it a little less horrible.
Three, the bill passed is kind of emblematic of the message to Democrats from the voters in Virginia: either govern moderately or get thrown out. This bill did pass because it was moderate, so by the same logic, the other one, the extremist one, is very unlikely to pass. The moderate Republicans probably won't be on board with Nancy for that, while the Squad will find itself roadblocked when it comes time for a Senate vote. Don't think Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are suddenly going be interested in voting for Bernie Sanders's porkulus after Bernie demonized Manchin in a West Virginia newspaper and his neighboring blue state of Virginia just elected a Republican governor as well as numerous other Republicans up and down the political pecking order.
As evil and out of touch as Pelosi seems, it must always be remembered that she's a power-monger. She likes legislative victories. If she can get them the progressive way, fine and dandy' if she can get them without the crazies of the Squad who hate her anyway, then even finer and dandier. The old pol is on her way out and wants to leave on a high note.
What we are seeing with the passage of this bill is a return to incrementalism in the Democrats. They aren't going for leftist lunacy at this point because they know that voters can't stand it, and now it's too close to election time to sneak it through. What's more, the Virginia voters have advised them what's coming down the pike as their extremism remains naked to the voters. These Democrats know that their only hope now is to govern moderately, and apparently, the process has started. We saw this when Newt Gingrich and his congressional Republicans in the 1990s instilled discipline in Bill Clinton by forcing him to sign a big welfare reform bill and let him have his host of small rather than large pork projects. Remember how Bill touted his "midnight basketball" programs? I suspect this is what is coming next for the Democrats, which is...very bad news for the Squad.
The trend now is toward "moderate" in a bid to head off the oncoming truly conservative takeover, which should happen by 2022. Democrats know they'd better straighten up to something recognizable to voters to survive the coming tsunami. It probably won't work, given that the ball is rolling. But above all, the trend is not the Squad's friend.
That renders the Squad and all its green-red power dreams of taking over the country...kind of irrelevant. It's actually the Squad that has more to worry about from the passage of this porky infrastructure bill than Republicans. And come to think of it, Joe Biden, who threw in his lot with them.
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