Bernie Stands Alone Against The House of Lords
Some senators were grouchy that they were forced to stay after hours— on a weekend no less— to vote in the archaic vote-a-rama performance. It went all night Saturday and into this morning. When I woke up before dawn, the Republicans were still offering amendments to scuttle and derail the reconciliation bill, even after seeing they were never going to break Democratic unity in this process. The Republicans plan to keep it going into the late morning/early afternoon in the hope of capturing some media attention for their unpopular obstructionism.
It’s worth noting though that the very first amendment offered came not from Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz but from Bernie, who was actually attempting to make the legislation better. His amendment would prevent Medicare from paying more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs does for prescription drugs. Voting with Ron Johnson, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, Tommy Tuberville, Roger Marshall, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, Rand Paul and Rick Scott against Bernie’s amendment were Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Brian Schatz, Ed Markey, even Jeff Merkley. A few minutes later, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossify voted with Bernie to “provide coverage for dental and oral health care, hearing care, and vision care under the Medicare program.” It failed 3-97. It was back to 1-98 when Bernie offered an amendment to establish a Civilian Climate Corps.
And then, just as I was waking up this morning, there was Bernie’s amendment “to extend the special rules for the child tax credit that applied for 2021 and to increase the corporate tax rate,” which failed 1-97. “Pathetically,” said Bernie on the floor, “the United States has the highest child poverty rate of almost any major country on Earth, and it is especially high among young people of color. This is the wealthiest nation on Earth, we should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any country. The American Rescue Plan included a $300 a month child tax credit which ended up lowering the child poverty rate in America by over 40 percent.”
The response from Senate Democrats to Bernie came from Ohio's pretend progressive Sherrod Brown: “C’mon, Bernie.” As for the Republicans, the only “success” the seem to be having today is to strip out the $35 cap on insulin prices. Good luck with that, especially Chuck Grassley (IA), Mike Lee (UT) and Ron Johnson (WI), who will lose votes in November because of that: