Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is quickly becoming my favorite Democrat. We probably don’t agree on much, but she’s not gone full communist like other members of her party. Her line seems to be ‘I’m a liberal, just not nuts like you people.’ I’m okay with that. I also like how she will do what she feels is best for her state and the country, and Chuck Schumer has no sway in the matter. The other wild card is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who walks a careful path being a senator from a now-deep red state. Sinema has made her position clear. She’s a “no” vote on this $3.5 trillion lefty boondoggle package. This is the human infrastructure bill that the far left wants to pass now and have threatened to block the bipartisan infrastructure deal that was hashed out with Senate Republicans (via Politico):
Kyrsten Sinema still opposes her party’s plans for a $3.5 trillion, party-line spending bill. And she’s not up for a negotiation about it.
As House Democratic leaders hold back Sinema’s own Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill in order to push the Arizona Democrat and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support a multitrillion-dollar spending bill, Sinema is making it crystal clear that her mind can’t be changed. And that applies even as her own legislation becomes a bargaining chip in House Democrats’ internal discussions.
It’s the latest entrenched position from the first-term moderate, whose resistance to changing the Senate’s filibuster rules and to supporting a $3.5 trillion spending bill is enraging progressives. Sinema and Manchin both helped pass Democrats’ budget earlier this month, setting up that gargantuan spending bill, but both are resistant to a social spending package that ultimately meets its $3.5 trillion top line mark.
Sinema in particular specifically opposes that spending goal, which was devised by Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT .). Senate Democrats need all 50 of their members, including Manchin and Sinema, to pass a filibuster-proof reconciliation spending bill.
On Sunday Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her members were still pursuing a bill that costs $3.5 trillion, but are hoping to finance it in part with tax enforcement and tax increases on the wealthy and corporations.
Yeah, and there’s another problem. Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the votes in the House to pass the $3.5 trillion package. Nine House Democrats are entrenched in their position to oppose the package (via WaPo):
The budget blueprint encompasses many of Democrats’ most cherished policy promises from the 2020 campaign, including pledges to expand Medicare, rethink immigration, and spend new sums to combat climate change. Its adoption this week would inch Congress closer to delivering on President Biden’s broader economic agenda.
But the fate of that vote appears in doubt, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to grapple with persistent political divides among her own fractious caucus. Despite wide-ranging support for some of the new spending, the party’s liberal and centrist wings remain at odds over how exactly to proceed, raising the potential for defections that Democrats simply cannot afford in a chamber where they hold only a slim advantage.
The tensions have played out over what should have been a routine process to bring the budget to a final vote. Nine centrists, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), have signaled they could vote against the proposal unless Pelosi first permits a vote on a bipartisan, roughly $1.2 trillion bill to improve the country’s infrastructure. The Senate adopted both packages before its recess this month.
“I will vote against the budget resolution, as we’ve said, as the nine of us committed publicly,” Gottheimer said on Saturday. “We will vote against a budget resolution if the infrastructure package isn’t brought up first.”
Truth be told, the bipartisan infrastructure deal isn’t good either. It was supposed to be paid for—it’s not. What else is new. It will add $256 billion to the deficit every year for the next eight if passed. Still, as of now, the far left wants the $3.5 trillion reconciliation passed first but doesn’t have the votes. The moderate wing of the Democratic Party is sticking to their position. No one is budging. With these nine House Democrats, plus Sinema’s opposition, the reconciliation bill looks dead right now. In fact, the entire spending orgy that’s been on the docket looks like it could go nowhere.