Patterico's Pontifications


Circumstances Not Getting Any Better for Dems’ Massive Reconciliation Package

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:06 pm

[guest post by JVW]

We’ve been tracking the problems faced by Democrats as they try to ram through a wasteful and unnecessary $3.5 trillion dollar spending bill through Congress, hoping that their bare majorities in both houses will somehow pull together and give the Biden/Pelosi/Schumer troika a massive victory that will likely codify reckless Washington spending for years to come. On at least a couple of occasions we have discussed the Dems’ Achilles Heel(s), Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, and how those two hold the power to scuttle this bill if they are willing to buck their party’s leadership. Last week the news didn’t get any better for the would-be big spender bloc:

Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President Joe Biden at a private meeting Wednesday, we’re told: If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.

Sinema is not the only moderate taking this stand. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) — one of approximately 10 moderate Democratic House members playing hardball with leadership — said he and several members of their group are on the same page. Some of the lawmakers have conveyed that message up the chain to leadership and the White House. A senior Democratic aide confirmed the warnings.

“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” Schrader told Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”

Again, to hearken back to my post from last month, progressives in the House are hoping to hold the bipartisan infrastructure bill hostage until the maybe-we-shouldn’t-just-throw-money-at-everything members of the Democrat caucus knuckle under and agree to something pretty close to the $3.5 trillion figure that progressives insist is as low as they are willing to go. But the Sinema-Schraeder gang has figured that it is they who hold all the cards, and have told leadership that first comes the vote on infrastructure and then next month will be the time to consider the latest lefty spending orgy. Complicating matters was Sen. Manchin’s blunt statement last week that he thinks a number closer to $1.5 trillion would be wiser, and that any further spending beyond the infrastructure bill should wait until 2022, when we have a better sense of how the economy is performing under all of the stimuli it has already received.

Cynics like me believe that split-the-baby politicians like Senators Sinema and Manchin will ultimately give party leadership 80% of what they want, but I confess that I find the fact that both Senators have been very specific about exactly what is needed to win their votes to be very telling. I expect politicians to be craven and compromised, but in this case it would be very hard for either Senator to cave without looking incredibly weak and malleable. Of course I am hoping that in the end both bills fail, with progressives’ refusal to support the infrastructure bill being retaliation for the insistence of the “moderates” that $3.5 trillion is just too expensive. It sounds like next Monday will be a pivotal test for Democrats’ ability to govern with very narrow margins yet a stark ideological difference in priorities.


40 Responses to “Circumstances Not Getting Any Better for Dems’ Massive Reconciliation Package”

  1. Remember too that much of this “stimulus” is permanent: “free” pre-Kindergarten (i.e., daycare for working parents), “free” community college (i.e., a jobs program for academics) and various Obamacare subsidies, meaning that after the $3.5 trillion (and likely much more) is burned through in the first ten years the Congress will have to find a way to keep funding those programs thereafter.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. JRB ain’t LBJ.
    Or FDR.
    Or JFK… etc., etc.,

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  3. I hope Pelosi is feeling John Boehner’s pain. It seems like she is the same ghastly place Boehner found himself in when dealing with the “Freedom Caucus” and GOP moderates.

    Of course, the Freedom Caucus is either gone or gone Trumpy. Which makes me wonder about the what Trump the Ocasio-Cortez bunch will find to grant their wishes.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  4. Boehner is feeling no pain. He is one of the largest moneymakers in the legal cannabis sting.

    mg (8cbc69)

  5. Boehner is feeling no pain.

    It’s the wine.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. When is the last time congress past all 13 spending bills separately?

    mg (8cbc69)


    Congress has managed to pass all its required appropriations measures on time only four times: in fiscal 1977 (the first full fiscal year under the current system), 1989, 1995 and 1997.

    Passed separately could be more often.

    1989 was after President Reagan said in his 1988 State of the Union message that he would never sign another continuing resolution,

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  8. I feel not an ounce of sorrow about this. It’s a terrible thing.

    Colonel Haiku (a28946)

  9. Which makes me wonder about the what Trump the Ocasio-Cortez bunch will find to grant their wishes.

    President Biden has already gone an awful long way down the Bernard Sanders path. I guess he’s like the prostitute who thinks that if she only works for half the day somehow she still will keep her virtue. But I see Democrats inevitably having the same factional problems that is currently hurting the GOP.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  10. Thank you, Sammy.
    You are a treasure.

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. It’s only because the margin is so close, nd they don;t wasn’t to use any Republicans, that he dissenter matter.

    One ploy in the works: In case the small bill passes Nancy Pelosi really wants it to fail) she could hold it up and not forward it for at least a period of weeks.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  12. President Biden has already gone an awful long way down the Bernard Sanders path.

    True. It’s interesting because I thought he was the most moderate of the democrats running. Maybe he was, but there doesn’t seem to be any space for moderation anymore. Also, Biden’s only nominally the president and obviously his crew are calling shots with no regard to Biden’s ‘president of the whole country’ unity claims during the campaign.

    Bottom line is that the spending has been terrible for a long time, and is making a very sudden jump that makes concerns during the Bush era seem silly. There is no way to sustain this influx of money and freebies. It’s ruining the job market, driving costs for things we need very high, and probably making somebody rich (but not me).

    Dustin (150498)

  13. We’re gonna have to pony up to overcome Mr. al-Toadi’s Wild Rocket Ride…

    Colonel Haiku (a28946)

  14. If you recall a mere 4 years ago, when the House Freedom Caucus scuttled several must-pass bills and drove Speaker Ryan to retire. Narrow majorities are the Devil’s playground; they allow the backbenchers to have veto power over the party’s program. Only when the majority can get support across the aisle is this kind of hostage-taking overcome, and that is really not likely here.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. When is the last time congress past all 13 spending bills separately?

    Probably 1966.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. Wish those days were here again, Kevin M.

    mg (8cbc69)

  17. It’s coming:

    “C’mon, man– here’s the deal: pass it for Beau.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  18. I don’t know why they don’t just repeal the counterfeiting laws so people can print their own money.

    Trump’s got to be making out like a bandit, though. Paying off his Deutsche Bank loans with dollars worth 70% of the ones he borrowed. He had been trying to devalue the dollar since he got into office, but it took Covid and Biden to finally do the job for him.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. Enjoy your weekend bike ride, Joey?

    Johanny Pichardo, Nicole Gee, Darin Hoover, Hunter Lopez, Daegan Page, Humberto Sanchez, David Espinoza, Jared Schmitz, Rylee McCollum, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Maxton Soviak and Ryan Knauss liked to ride bikes, too.

    Remember when you got them killed? We do, you rolling POS.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. I must say that Biden does not seem to be in front of things these days. Now the NY Times is running stories about his terrible deportations of Haitians, and Fox is attacking him for not deporting them.

    This is normalcy?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. LA County public health dept says maskless Emmys were fine because ‘exceptions are made for film, television, and music productions’

    “LA County’s Health Officer order requires residents to wear a mask indoors, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. However, “exceptions are made for film, television, and music productions,” the Department of Health said, defending the maskless Emmys.

    Hollywood celebrities gathered on Sunday for the 73rd annual Emmy awards in Los Angeles. The stars were caught partying maskless in a sealed tent with minimal ventilation as the assembly of masked servants looked on.
    While many Democrat-run cities have imposed strict coronavirus mandates that celebrities have supported, like indoor mask requirements and vaccination passports, the stars were seen turning a blind eye to the very measures they’ve shamed others for not complying with.“

    Obudman (4c6cec)

  22. But if #s 1,4,6, and 7 rode their bikes on his sidewalk instead of on his street…

    urbanleftbehind (34aa87)

  23. 21. In all circumstances, the safest way to associate with those people is only by way of your TV screen. Covid is the least of it.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. Covid is the least, hence the rules only applying to the little people.

    Obudman (4c6cec)

  25. There are far worse contagions on the seats of the toilets, nk.

    urbanleftbehind (34aa87)

  26. That’s what I said, urbanleftbehind. What urbanleftbehind said, Obudman. As far as “those people” are concerned.

    nk (1d9030)

  27. I will never consider the entertainment industry “elite” or “big people”. They’re not an exemplar of anything. They’re for entertainment purposes only.

    When did they rise above demimonde, anyway? With Edward VII and Lillie Langtry? With his Bavarian cousin (or uncle, or nephew, or all three at once) and Lola Montez?

    nk (1d9030)

  28. “Today: WH condemns Border Patrol agents’ use of whips against illegal immigrants at the border.

    Also today: Biden’s own DHS chief explains that didn’t actually happen. “Mayorkas explained that agents use long reins — not whips — to control their horses.”

    ‘’The adults are back in charge”

    Obudman (4c6cec)

  29. I am curious if anybody here wishes to defend Sinema’s position that the government shouldn’t negotiate drug prices.

    Purely by coincidence, Sinema is one of the largest recipients of pharmaceutical cash.

    Victor (4959fb)

  30. One could play “follow the money” all day, every day, Victor. Have fun!

    Colonel Haiku (a28946)

  31. #32
    Nice one

    steveg (e81d76)

  32. 32 – I’m pretty sure The Lincoln Project has that market cornered.

    Oh wait, it’s not a dodge.

    Obudman (4c6cec)

  33. The North American Man Boy Lincoln Association

    Colonel Haiku (a28946)

  34. 28, either darn way, the image will be on a cover of a rap album in few months

    urbanleftbehind (34aa87)

  35. There’s no need to waste a perfectly good squirrel like that on the J6 prisoners, Obudman. It won’t win you any points with Trump. He likes people who don’t get captured.

    nk (1d9030)

  36. “Today: WH condemns Border Patrol agents’ use of whips against illegal immigrants at the border.

    ‘Course Joy Reid brought it up but a look at her outfits and it’s a safe bet that kitty is quite familiar with whips, chains and the whole S&M scene. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  37. ‘Reining in illegals.’

    Film at 11.

    Why the world is leaving America behind #76: the nation that could landed men on the moon, machines on Mars and send spacecraft out toward the stars is left to use cowboys on horses to corral the cattle crossing their southern border.

    Still licking self-adhesive stamps, Joe?!

    And Putin smiled…

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  38. Liberals – November 2018 – ‘John McCain is smiling at the thumb in the eye to Trump by the election of Kyrsten Sinema’

    Liberals – September 2021 – ‘Krysten Sinema is worse than Trump’

    Obudman (4c6cec)

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