Christmas may not be the only thing the Grinch steals this year. He could also be making off with Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better legislation. Democrats had vowed to get the $1.75 massive spending package passed by the end of the year, but it looks like that is not going to happen.
That could possibly spell big political trouble for President Joe Biden politically, and for Democrats, a paired back smaller bill, or even no bill at all. Not a winning combination in a crucial midterm election year.
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Axios reports that Democrats may already be looking to cement new deadlines for 2022 passage of the bill. The snags in the bill for the holdout Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) seem to be not just the true total price tag, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated will be around $5 trillion, but also child tax credits, and State and Local Tax Deductions (SALT).
The latter is seen by progressives as a massive giveaway to the rich.
Joe Biden said in a statement on Thursday regarding Manchin, “My team and I are having ongoing discussions with Senator Manchin; that work will continue next week. We will advance this work together over the days and weeks ahead.”
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While Build Back Better seems to be in a holding pattern, even a delay until next year is yet another bad sign for Democrats who may have some hope of using it to campaign on in 2022.
People who would miss out on child tax credit checks are the biggest concern for Democrats. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) said the missing checks would be “a major problem.”
The delay will also make the rift between far-left Democrats and the moderates who seem to see the wisdom of proceeding at a more measured pace. Members of the ‘Squad’ were particularly upset. Rep. Cori Bush sent a warning to moderate Democrats.
Chair of the House Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), claimed that “two-thirds of voters want Build Back Better passed,” and asked what would Congress have to say to voter when it is not passed.
Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley also urged Congress to forego portions of their holiday break to get not just Build Back Better passed, but also voting legislation.
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It is unclear where Rep. Jayapal gets her numbers, but a recent Rasmussen poll shows that 51% of Americans are opposed to the social spending and climate change behemoth known as Build Back Better. Of those, 40% are strongly opposed.
Democrat strategist Mark Penn has tried to sound the alarm for his party saying,
“If Democrats remain on their current course and keep coddling and catering to progressives, they could lose as many as 50 seats and control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections. Yelling ‘Trump, Trump, Trump’ when Mr. Trump is not on the ballot or in office is no longer a viable campaign strategy.”
Then again, it may just appear to them to be “finger-pointing.”
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