It’s a critical time in Congress as lawmakers avert government shutdowns, economic turmoil and the threat of the president’s fate Joe BidenThe agenda of And no one has any idea what will happen.
MPs are scrambling to fund the government before the 30 September deadline. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress that the agency would run out of cash by October 18, at which point the country would stop being able to pay its bills, risk serious delays in Social Security and veterans benefits, and previously Since then, the fragile economy is prone to recession.
Republican are refusing to vote to raise the debt limit until mid-October, apparently to oppose government spending, even though they added trillions to the deficit during the Trump administration. Democrats is technically the ability to grow it on their own through the reconciliation process but says the procedural maneuver is too difficult and will derail the legislative calendar – which Republicans are very likely refusing to help.
Meanwhile, the entirety of the Biden agenda is on the verge of crashing. Conservative Democrats refuse to pursue negotiations on a reconciliation bill unless the House sends a bipartisan infrastructure bill to Biden’s desk. But progressive Democrats have refused to back the bipartisan infrastructure bill until meaningful progress is made on a reconciliation bill that seeks to advance some of the most important aspects of Biden’s agenda, from climate proposals to Till policies like paid leave.
Confidence among the Democratic ranks has been slowly unraveling for months as conservative Democrats show how far they are from Biden’s campaign and winning agenda. And the progressives, who are suddenly aligned with the president and, for the most part, the party’s leadership, do not believe their liberal allies will negotiate in good faith.
“Look, I understand, we’re all disappointed by this,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told reporters on Wednesday. “We are working on the bill. …we’re going to do the best we can.”
Republicans leave the Democrats to deal with the debt alone.
Congress is facing some major deadlines. One is on September 30, when funding for the federal government to operate ends. Democratic leadership is looking to extend funding at current levels until December 3rd, and so far it looks like they will.
The Senate plans to pass a spending bill with some additional funding for hurricane relief and Afghan refugees within the next 24 hours. Republicans seem to be more or less on board.
But Congress has another deadline to meet that Republicans want nothing to do with: The Treasury Department says the country will run out of cash to pay bills by mid-October.
Congress has had to raise the debt limit more than 90 times during history, including three times under Trump, to allow the Treasury Department to borrow money to pay off debts incurred by previous legislation.
Senate Republicans this week objected to a House-passed bill that would have both funded the government through December and also prevented the United States from defaulting on its debt holdings. He also objected to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D.N.Y.) attempt to raise the debt limit on his own.
It’s not that Republicans in Congress want the country to default; They want the Democrats to deal with the debt limit, and they want to make it as difficult as possible for them to do so. To go it alone, Democrats would have to make it through a reconciliation process, a budget maneuver that allows Democrats to pass a bill with only a simple majority.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Democrats already have plans for a reconciliation bill – one that is supposed to make the Biden agenda a reality, ranging from climate proposals to health care, education and worker reforms. Earlier this summer he passed a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that set the framework for passing such a legislative package – the Build Back Better Act.
To include the debt limit, however, they will have to revise their budget structure. It is not clear how long this will take. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said it is possible, though not the choice, that Democrats would have to do. But Democrats in the Senate are less confident. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called it a “nonstarter” this week.
Amendments to the budget proposal would open the process to delay Republicans’ strategy. It will not be easy, and it will set a difficult October 18 deadline on the reconciliation process.
This poses another problem for Democrats: They can’t really agree on what the Build Back Better Act really is.
The Conciliation Bill itself is in trouble.
It’s hard to imagine that Democrats will come to an agreement on a reconciliation bill within the next three weeks. They’ve already spent weeks negotiating – and really managed to negotiate nothing.
They are trapped. And no one seems to know how to get out.
The problem with negotiations around a conciliation bill begins with a disagreement over whether to initiate negotiations around a conciliation bill.
It’s a drama that goes back several months, when the Democratic leadership announced a “two-track” legislative strategy to pass the Biden agenda. One track was the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which would deal with the infrastructure of roads, bridges and ports, which Democrats and Republicans could agree on. The second track was a partisan reconciliation bill, which would address many of the social welfare and climate policies that Democrats have been campaigning for for decades.
The Progressive Democrats were not happy with the results of the bipartisan infrastructure bill – negotiated primarily by conservatives and moderates in his party – but their leadership told them that the second track would answer many of their demands. In June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) gave a public assurance: she said she would not bring a bipartisan infrastructure bill to vote until the Senate passed a reconciliation bill.
But conservative Democrats did not want to start talks on a reconciliation package until the infrastructure bill was on the president’s table. The slim Democratic majority in both houses made his opposition politically more powerful.
And so Pelosi began retracting her promise to progressives, scheduling a vote on the infrastructure bill for September 30, which most progressive House members said amounted to an act of “betrayal.” .
“Let me be clear: Bringing the so-called bipartisan infrastructure plan to a vote without the #BuildBackBetter Act at the same time is a betrayal,” Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted Tuesday. “We’ll hold the line and vote for it.”
Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus pledged that progressives would vote for a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
“We are clear that the entirety of the President’s agenda has to be delivered to our members, and clearly we have 96% of all Democrats in the House and Senate who agree with us that we are ready to move forward with the bill. It is written, Build Back Better Agenda and Infrastructure Bill,” said Jaipal. This week on CNN.
On Wednesday, on the eve of the scheduled House infrastructure vote, Pelosi changed her tune yet again: The vote will happen. if there was some “legislative language” would be held out of the Senate on a reconciliation bill that could assure progressives that Democrats can proceed in good faith to reconciliation.
One problem: there is no legislative text. And the MLAs are nowhere close to that either.
“It won’t happen,” Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) told reporters on Wednesday. “All we have to do is pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, sit down and start talks in good faith. this much only.”
In other words, back to square one.
Asked repeatedly on Wednesday to provide updates on what’s in the reconciliation bill, Sanders, clearly frustrated by the line of questioning, finally said: “What bill?”
His comments summed up the chaos of the time.
One version is one the White House has proposed with the support of Democratic leadership and progressives: a $3.5 trillion package that includes a paid holiday program, subsidies for electric vehicles, a national child care program, funding for affordable housing, a Includes extension. Extended Child Tax Credit, expanded benefits for Medicare recipients, and more.
But conservative Democrats have made it clear that they are not comfortable with the size of that package. It’s not even really clear if they’re comfortable initiating a conversation.
After a meeting at the White House last week, Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who co-chairs…