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Why Did So Many Progressives Vote Against Biden's Turd Sandwich?

As we saw earlier, 165 Democrats voted for the turd sandwich, including several respected progressive leaders, like Ilhan Omar (MN), Jamie Raskin (MD), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), Ted Lieu (CA), Mark Takano (CA), Becca Balint (VT), Morgan McGarvey (KY). Progressive stalwart David Cicilline came back to DC from Providence to cast his last vote before resigning— and it was for the bill. The thought among progressives was that the imperfect bill— some thought horrible bill— had to pass to avert a catastrophic financial crisis. Nearly every Democratic congressmember would have voted for it if their vote was needed. But 46 of them held the line and voted no. One was Ro Khanna. His tweet explained the thinking of most progressives who voted against it:

Now the Senate is starting their dysfunctional, tortuous to get to an aye, before the “deadline,” possibly tomorrow night. Like in the House, most Democrats and most Republicans are in favor. The most progressive members— Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Ed Markey, a few others— have signaled they’re not voting for it. A handful of GOP creeps— Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, Dan Sullivan— are demanding an opportunity to force votes on their pet projects. They’ll all fail, but they all take time.

I asked the House candidates who Blue America has endorsed how they would have voted. Maebe A. Girl, the most progressive candidate running to replace Adam Schiff, tweeted her position yesterday. It’s pretty hardcore: “Is one really a ‘progressive’ if they vote for a ‘deal’ that hinders access to SNAP and boosts fossil fuel production?? Both parties will claim a yes vote is necessary to avoid economic crisis even though our financially sovereign nation can avert it without stripping necessities. Food is a necessity. Avoiding fossil fuels is a necessity. When a nation creates fiat money not backed by the gold standard, such as the U.S., it doesn’t need need to screw its people to cover its expenses.”

Aaron Regunberg is also the most progressive candidate in his race— a special election this year in Rhode Island to replace Cicilline. He was pretty clear about where he stands on this too: “I would have joined Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal and many other Democratic leaders in voting no. This deal rewards Republican hostage-taking at the expense of working families. It targets people using critical support programs, slashes healthcare for vulnerable communities, and protects tax cheats. It cuts off vital food assistance to millions— we're talking about seniors and single moms here in Rhode Island not being able to put food on the table. And with inflation, capping spending at fiscal year 2023 levels is the equivalent of cutting budgets by as much as 7-10 percent, which will devastate the agencies that protect our air, food, and workplaces from corporate abuse. We need Democrats in Congress who will fight tooth and nail to disarm these Republican extremists. That's why I'm in this race.”

That’s why Blue America endorsed him and Maebe. If you agree and want to see them in the House, please consider contributing to their campaigns here.

Morris Pearl, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director at BlackRock, wasn’t any happier that Maebe or Aaron were with the spending freezes, additional work requirements for SNAP and TANF, and the significant rollback of increased IRS funding. He told Patriotic Millionaire members that it was “a bad deal. All the spin in the world won’t change the fact that, while it’s certainly better than a default, rolling back over $20 billion in increased IRS funding is simply unacceptable, especially when combined with increased work requirements and spending freezes. House Republicans have proven once again that there is nothing they care about more than making sure the ultra-rich can avoid paying taxes. In a fight they claimed was about shrinking the debt, they decided to prioritize rolling back IRS enforcement funding in a move that will actually increase the debt by billions. They have gone to bat to protect wealthy tax cheats, and won. This deal is being sold as a compromise that is a win for both sides. But President Biden could have bypassed this entire manufactured crisis and invoked the 14th Amendment to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. The deal is better than it could have been, but the choice should have never been between default or a deal.”

UPDATE: Another candidate for Congress endorsed by Blue America, Jason Call, sent me this. Keep in mind that Jason is running as a Green Party candidate against a conservative corporate Democrat, Rick Larsen in Washington state. "The US is the only advanced democracy in the world to have this crushing debt ceiling condition that promotes austerity economics to crush the working class. This is yet more political theater from the corporate duopoly. The corporate owned leaders of the both parties know that default will hurt their benefactors (and do real damage to the capitalist economy), so default will never happen. The theater is over how much the Democrats will concede to the right wing. McCarthy is crowing about cutting welfare post pandemic while tens of millions still don’t have health insurance. They should have their bluff called, but of course the Democrats don’t want to set any kind of standard that would give their corporate donors pause that they might somehow eventually raise both wages and taxes on the wealthy. We need to do what Sheldon Whitehouse proposed, which is to eliminate the debt ceiling completely and do away with this recurring, nonsensical and traumatic political football. This is yet more evidence that the Democratic Party would rather serve their donor base than their constituents."


Yves Smith applies Occam's Razor:

Now the President is running for a second term. His fundraisers openly declare that the campaign intends to raise more than a billion dollars. In recent presidential elections, contributions from labor union amount to about 6 or 7% of total political spending. Money in the amounts the Biden campaign seeks can come only from one place: from the superrich and very affluent Americans. And in a Congress so dependent on money flows, relatively few representatives in either party are likely to do much more than posture when it comes to raising taxes. For Democrats in particular, the advantages of first actually passing programs, then standing back and reluctantly sustaining votes to take them back are…

Jun 02, 2023
Replying to

"When are these politicians going to start working for WE THE PEOPLE ?"

THESE democraps will never work for "WE THE PEOPLE". They've made it clear for over 40 years that they work only for the money.

If you want pols that will work for "WE THE PEOPLE", ever so clearly "WE THE PEOPLE" will have to elect different ones. Flushing their entire party will be required. History shows us one such example when the Whigs were erased over the single issue of slavery.

"WE THE PEOPLE" need to repeat that. But first, "WE THE PEOPLE" need to REALIZE this.


Funding already authorized was rescinded in ransom to GOP hostage-takers. A pipeline was authorized for the benefit of Joe Mansion. The president never once publicly threatened to exercise his 14A powers, the party never once tried to rally its (nominal) base against the hostage-takers, and the House Dem caucus largely fell into line.

Forgotten in this fiasco is the fact that a WH whose sole chance at re-election is broad public appreciation of the GOP's manifest lunacy just made the GOP look halfway sane. Every time Biden achieves "bipartisanship" with the Quanon Caucus, he makes said Caucus look a little less scary, thereby reducing his own chances at re-election. Bipartisanship and re-election are a null set--a self-evident truth about whi…


Jun 01, 2023

they voted against it because they could -- and it would still pass, which is what the democrap party from top to bottom wanted. your democraps are loathe to "cause" a default (when the 14th forbids it) which would be worse than the serial ratfucking y'all will get from this. But the only thing that your democraps will never EVER do is... the right thing. not since 1966.

what is surprising is how few actually did vote nay. many more could have said "horse shit" to it and it still would have passed.

were your pussy democraps hoping for a mirage of unity? were they trying to NOT make biden and his neofascist team of "negotiators" (read: neville chamberlains) loo…

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