In the wee hours of this morning, Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the Capitol just after midnight and when asked about the infrastructure bill she said, and I quote "we're not trillions apart." She said at 12:01 a.m. "there will be a vote today."
I’m not sure what she's talking about. If she meant the $4 trillion dollar-plus, reckless budget reconciliation bill, they are trillions of dollars apart.
They — being the Democratic Party— which is presently engaged in a circular firing squad operation between the progressive left-wing of the party, which could be virtually the entire party, and the last of the independent "blue dog Democrats" senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
I've been calling this mutually assured destruction, like the old days of the Cold War and it's getting to be fun. Not just the usual shooters, Jayapal and AOC, firing at Manchin, but Bernie Sanders has moved into high-gear actually slamming Pelosi and her so-called late-night negotiations. Now that's new and very cool.
Last night, the Senate Budget Chair said that's unacceptable —the bi-partisan infrastructure bill must be defeated — and we can sit down and work out a way to pass both pieces of legislation.
No, you can't, Bernie. You don't understand. Your reckless budget reconciliation bill is dead. As in: Save America. Kill the Bill. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have killed your bill and they have also killed the House version and to Mrs. Pelosi's point, you are trillions of dollars apart and you're going to have to deal with that.
Right now, you are in denial. You may be eligible for therapeutic intervention. You may need a 12-step meeting because of your refusal to accept the reality —just saying. I'm being empirical here.
Manchin laid down the law yesterday, in very clear terms.
Sinema, today, has fled to Phoenix, seeking safe haven from all of the big government, democratic socialists who are attacking her.
Manchin made it very clear two days ago in his bold statement and the leak of his correspondents with Chuck Schumer that he wants substantially less spending.
He's worried about inflation. He will only accept additional entitlement payments with strict income and eligibility limits coupled with workfare requirements and he wants to chop down at least half or more of the Green New Deal spending.
He wants to preserve fossil fuels and he also wants the Federal Reserve to end its quantitative easing. He would raise taxes, but by a much less amount.
He opposes vengeful taxing simply for the sake of spending. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bernie Sanders, Pramila Jayapal, and "Sandy" Ocasio-Cortez have got to come out of denial and deal with the new reality.
There isn't going to be any compromise to pass the current versions of infrastructure and the $4 trillion budget.
Manchin has staked his entire political career on this.
Sinema looks rock solid to me and I'm waiting for other "blue dog Democrats" in both the House and the Senate —especially those running for re-election in Trump districts and states — to come out of the woodwork and start supporting Manchin and Sinema.
They are the new reality. As a reminder to Mr. Sanders, who says two senators are holding up his bill, it's actually 2 plus 50, which is 52, because I know today's Washington is arithmetically challenged and last night on this show, Senator Marsha Blackburn suggested there could be a couple of others. So, it could be 54-46.
So, this afternoon President Biden has apparently gone up to Capitol Hill to persuade the House Democratic Conference to vote for a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill and perhaps save some face for his domestic program, which along with the catastrophe on the southern border and the catastrophe in Afghanistan, is already dooming his presidency.
Mrs. Pelosi is 0-for-2 false starts for these infrastructure votes. In tennis, that would be a double fault, but we're working toward the baseball playoffs.
So, we'll just say three strikes and you're out. Kevin McCarthy and the House Republicans are completely opposed to any sort of combined infrastructure and budget reconciliation package and of course, they are right.
So, let the therapy continue. There's a new reality in Washington. I rather like it.
Save America. Kill the bill.
In fact, kill all the bills and that's my riff.