Increasingly frustrated Democrats are blasting each other internally as frustration mounts over the party’s inability to advance several trillion dollars worth of legislative packages amid squabbling between far-left and moderate factions, reports noted Wednesday.
As another self-imposed deadline to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill along with a “human infrastructure” package stuffed with social welfare spending approaches, and with President Biden leaving the U.S. on Thursday for an overseas trip that includes a climate summit, Democrats are growing increasingly impatient, Fox Business reported.
The network added that Biden had made it clear to Democrat leaders he wanted an agreement amongst party members about the reconciliation bill, which began with a price tag of about $3.5 trillion but is being pared back to satisfy moderates, so he could promote climate change provisions in each of them.
“Here’s the thing: The president looked at us in the eye and he said, ‘I need this before I go represent the United States in Glasgow,’” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told “Fox News Sunday. “American prestige is on the line.”
There have been ongoing, virtual nonstop talks and negotiations with moderate Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both of whom have objected to various aspects of the reconciliation package. Manchin has pushed back on the costs including the expansion of Medicaid and other entitlements; Sinema has rejected the bill’s tax increases on corporations. Both senators were at the White House Tuesday evening along with House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and the Congressional Black Caucus.
Some Democratic leaders have even predicted this week that a deal could come in a matter of “hours,” though by Thursday morning, no deal appeared imminent without party leaders being able to find some way to overcome the moderate faction’s objections.
“We’re not doing everything today,” Manchin said pointedly on Wednesday.
The tension boiled over during the day with one moderate Democrat telling Fox News: “It’s the effing progressives.” The lawmaker went on to accuse progressive members of asking for “unreasonable things” in the massive spending bills.
One progressive, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent who caucuses with far-left Democrats, fired back.
“It seems to me almost every sensible progressive revenue option that the president wants, that the American people want, that I want, seems to be sabotaged,” he said Wednesday.
The Chair of the House Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), insisted again this week that her members won’t vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package without first passing the larger reconciliation bill because she doesn’t trust Democratic moderates. As such, they want a reconciliation bill that is ready to pass the House the same day as the infrastructure legislation.
“It’s not really about the sequencing. It’s about voting both of them on the same day,” she said Tuesday. “So, in other words, what I don’t want is a framework.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), disagreed when asked about the sequencing of legislation. “Well, I think it is,” she told reporters.
Some Democrats, meanwhile, are eager to move forward quickly on the infrastructure bill because it has bipartisan support.
“I don’t think we’re in a position to keep kicking the can down the road,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) on Tuesday.
“Is it perfect?” Beatty said after being asked about how close members were to a reconciliation bill. “We don’t live in a perfect world, and we’re not going to give you a perfect answer, but I’m going to give you another ‘P,’ and it’s called progress.”
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