This afternoon, Pramila reminded her constituents in Seattle that "tomorrow is going to be a big day in Congress. We face two choices: We can either do what progressives are asking and delay a vote on the small infrastructure bill until the popular Build Back Better Act-- with long-overdue investments in economic relief and climate action-- moves with it. OR we can choose to leave behind all of our priorities-- we can choose to leave behind parents who need child care, kids and grandchildren facing this climate crisis, immigrants on the frontlines, people struggling to afford health care, all those who can’t find affordable housing. There’s too much on the line to accept a 'pinkie promise' deal. We can’t just sit around hoping that they’ll finally get around to passing our priorities in the future. The plan is clear: The Build Back Better package and smaller infrastructure bill pass together. Let’s deliver both to President Biden’s desk.
Investing in roads and bridges is important, but so is investing in PEOPLE, their lives, their livelihoods, and their communities.
The Build Back Better Act is not some fringe list of policy priorities-- it’s the President’s agenda just as much as it is ours. This bill will provide child care to women pushed out of the workforce. It will fund free community college and affordable housing. It will finally expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing benefits for our seniors. And it will take real, tangible action on climate change-- funding green jobs to build our energy future.
Progressives are fighting to keep our promise to those who delivered us the House, the Senate, and the White House during the last election. That’s what they sent us here to do, and we won’t stop fighting for them.
No matter what conservatives, Big Pharma and corporate America try to throw at us, we're holding the line and delivering.
Bernie was also urging House members to hold the line. "During this extraordinary moment in American history," he wrote earlier today, "when we face a series of unprecedented crises, some of my Senate colleagues believe that now is the time to think small and maintain the status quo. No. Now is the time to think big and act decisively to address the long-neglected needs of the working class of this country as well as the existential threat of climate change."
Yesterday he had written at OpEd for USA Today, noting that even after he compromised by reducing his original reconciliation bill from $6 trillion down to just $3.5 trillion, "there are pundits out there who say we should compromise even more and cut back on addressing the long-neglected problems facing working families as well as climate change. Really? Please tell me where we should cut.
Should we end the $300 direct payments to working class parents which have cut childhood poverty in our country by half?
Should we continue to ignore the dysfunctionality of our childcare system which forces millions of working families to spend 20-30% of their limited incomes on childcare and keeps over a million women out of the workforce?
Should we deny low and moderate income young people the opportunity to get the higher education and job skills they need by making community colleges tuition free?
Should we continue allowing the pharmaceutical industry to charge us, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs?
Should we continue a situation where many millions of seniors are unable to afford to go to a dentist to get treatment for their rotting teeth, or buy the hearing aids and eyeglasses they need — or should we expand Medicare to cover those basic health care needs?
Should we continue being the only major country on earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave?
Should we, as an aging society, force older and disabled Americans into expensive nursing home care or should we expand home health care and allow them the opportunity to stay in their own homes?
Should we continue to have 600,000 Americans remain homeless, or should we finally begin building the millions of units of low income and affordable housing that we need?
And then there is the existential threat of climate change.
When the planet becomes warmer and warmer, with unprecedented forest fires, drought, floods, extreme weather disturbances and acidification of the oceans are causing mass destruction, and when scientists tell us that we only have a few years to avoid irreparable damage to our country and planet, should we really continue to ignore this global crisis?
This reconciliation bill is being opposed by every Republican in Congress as well as the drug companies, the insurance companies, the fossil fuel industry and the billionaire class. They want to maintain the status quo in which the very rich get richer while ordinary Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet. Well, I disagree. I believe that now is the time, finally, for Congress to stand up for working families and have the courage to take on the big money interests and wealthy campaign contributors who have so much power over the economic and political life of our country.
Manchin and Sinema are both dishonest players who CANNOT BE TRUSTED to live up to any bargains that aren't paid for with big checks. Now Manchin claims he doesn't know anything about a deal. And Pelosi is asking House progressives to just trust that everything will get taken care of! That's a bad joke. Just like Manchin's cruel boast to Manu Raju this morning that there's no deal that will happen by tomorrow. He very much wants this whole thing to fail.
McCarthy and Scalise are working overtime to prevent anymore than the 7 who have already announced they will vote for the hard infrastructure will to give Pelosi the votes she needs to counterbalance the progressives opposing it. The 7 Republicans remain Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), John Katko (NY), Don Bacon (NE), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Tom Reed (NY), Fred Upton (MI) and Don Young (AK). One high ranking staffer of one of these members told me his boss expects to "fall into Marjorie Taylor Greene's mouth" and that that would help him in his swing district, where "she is hated more than Trump by the few people who have ever heard of her." He also told me that there are other members who want to vote for the bill even if it means giving Biden a win. Meanwhile, this is the ad Marjorie Traitor Greene started running on right-wing TV today:
So what's going to happen tomorrow? David Dayen noted that Pelosi is trying to bulldoze progressives by misleading them. It isn't working-- so far-- it it looks like she doesn't have the votes. She's legendary for not putting legislation up for votes until she's certain she's going to win. At this point, she isn't. And two mystery senators told The Hill's Alexander Bolton that she'll pull the bill. "Nancy will pull it. We’re pretty sure she won’t put it up for a vote. She’ll meet with the [conservative shitheads] and she’ll say, 'Listen, I don’t put these things up when the votes aren’t there. It doesn’t help your cause to see it fail, it doesn’t help the president to see it fail,'" said one of the mystery senators.
I know what would solve this. Manchin said in his statement today that "While I am hopeful that common ground can be found that would result in another historic investment in our nation, I cannot-- and will not-- support trillions in spending or an all or nothing approach that ignores the brutal fiscal reality our nation faces." Lokx him in a room with Stephanie Kelton and don't let him out until he can explain to Kyrsten Sinema and the No Labels "Unbreakable 9"-- from which 2 have already broken-- why his statement is idiotic and meaningless.
This is what we need to remember for tomorrow's vote, if it even happens...
Voters elected Democrats to the White House and majorities in the House and Senate on the power of President Biden’s vision of the Build Back Better Agenda -- and it is time to deliver in full.
Poll after poll finds that both the Build Back Better Act and the infrastructure package have overwhelming and bi-partisan public support – including paying for them by having the rich pay their fair share in taxes.
All of these provisions - jobs, care, climate, and citizenship - are popular because people need the help. People need roads and bridges to get to work but they also can’t do it without access to care for children, seniors, and people with disabilities. People also know our country and economy can’t succeed without fighting climate change and providing a path to citizenship for essential workers. All of the Build Back Better agenda is popular because people need the help from all of it.
Now it’s time to hold the line and deliver. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, progressive Senators, and hundreds of progressive organizations, unions, and advocates are fighting tirelessly to pass President Biden’s full Build Back Better Agenda.
Progressives support President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda for historic investments in jobs, care, climate, and citizenship. Progressives support the bipartisan infrastructure bill. They must be passed together.
The Progressive Caucus is working to deliver on President Biden’s plan to pass both the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill together on the two-track process put together by Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer.