As I write on Wednesday, President Joe Biden (D) is negotiating with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R, WV) and some of her Republican Senate colleagues on an infrastructure bill. Or so he says.
The Republicans already have nearly doubled their surrendercounter-offer from their original $500+ billion dollar for a bill limited to actual infrastructure to more than $900 billion for a gussied up bill that is less than strictly about infrastructure. That’s some negotiation Capito and hers are doing.
The yet more serious problem, though—if that’s possible—is the behavior of Biden and his Congressional Progressive-Democrats.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D, WA):
So why are we negotiating with Republicans for a smaller infrastructure plan? Now is the time to GO BIG.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY):
The Republican party has already shown a pattern of the fact that their vote can’t even be counted on[.]
Because too many Republicans won’t vote the way their Betters tell them to.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY):
Reconciliation is certainly a serious consideration to get that big, bold action if we can’t get it with Republicans[.]
If Republicans won’t be bipartisan the way Progressive-Democrats demand, they need to be bypassed and ignored.
There’s also the question of who’s actually in charge in the White House. Senator Roger Wicker (R, MS):
If the president gets to make the decision, he will accept this [surrender offer of the $900+ billion proposal.]
Because when Republicans go talk to Biden’s subordinates,
they’ve been frustrated by subsequent talks with his aides and other White House staffers, who they say appear to be less interested in making a deal than the president….
Of course, Biden is the one in charge; his subordinates are simply doing out of the public’s eye what he’s instructed them to do, out of the public’s eye.
“The White House,” last Tuesday:
The president is looking forward to hosting Senator Capito on Wednesday afternoon at the White House, where they will continue their bipartisan negotiations about investing in our middle class and economic growth through infrastructure.
Well of course he is. He’s enjoying his pro forma meetings.
Biden’s pseudo-negotiating is a sham, purely for eyewash and to accrue talking points for next year’s election campaigns.