Far-left progressives are not being quiet about what they want to see in the new Democrat reconciliation package, and they are giving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden an earful.
The usual suspects including “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Cori Bush (D-MO), and Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) are calling for several provisions to be in the bill.
A few of the items being mentioned by the signers of a letter to Pelosi are $250 billion for climate and environmental justice funding for local governments, and $1 trillion to “build public renewables with union labor.”
11 progressive House Democrats, in a new letter first obtained by CBS, call for various provisions, including "$250 billion in climate and environmental justice funding for local governments" and $1 trillion to "build public renewables with union labor."https://t.co/sMy5IDPIMK
— Axios (@axios) July 9, 2021
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Progressive Spending vs. Current Bill
Late last month, a bipartisan group of Senators agreed on a total cost of around $1 trillion over five years, with $579 billion to go specifically to “traditional” infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, transportation, and broadband.
But that does not go nearly far enough for progressives. Outlined in the letter sent to Speaker Pelosi, the progressive wish list goes something like this:
$600 billion to expand public transit, passenger rail, and active transportation and rapidly electrify the transportation sector
$600 billion for public housing and public schools
$132 billion for a “Civilian Climate Corps”
Cut off public dollars towards subsidizing fossil fuels
We cannot allow corporations and lobbyists to force us into deepening the climate crisis with natural gas or fossil fuels.
We have a chance to create a thriving economy built on clean jobs — but only with a reconciliation package that meets the scale of this crisis.
— Progressive Caucus (@USProgressives) July 5, 2021
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What Happens Next
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has stated that Senators should plan on working nights, weekends, and possibly staying in Washington for at least part of the August recess.
But Schumer appears to have to play both sides of the fence. While he says the intention is to pass the bipartisan bill, there are plenty of Democrats that want to push through with a Democrat-only reconciliation bill.
Reconciliation would allow Democrats to pass massive spending without any GOP votes.
In a 50-50 Senate split, Democrats cannot lose a single vote on reconciliation. However, 11 Republican senators have signed onto the bill, ensuring passage with all 50 Democrats.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said whether or not he would support the bill.
Recent historic heat waves have literally been buckling roads, melting power cables, and shutting off our power.
Climate action IS infrastructure — and we can’t wait any longer to address it at the scale necessary.https://t.co/j9prZumJUG
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) July 8, 2021
Democrat Infighting Could Be A Problem
Democrats may have a lot riding on whether or not they can come together. Those in the middle of the party who see bringing 11 Republicans senators on board as a big deal are becoming frustrated with the far left.
In a report from Yahoo, Republican strategist Evan Siegfried thinks the far left of the Democrat Party may eventually cave. He says if they do not, they could get blamed for Democrats losing the House and the Senate in 2022.
Siegfried also says that ultimately, “This is where elected Democrats on the far Left have to decide whether they care more about results and compromising, or pontificating and postulating.”
The letter from House progressives to Nancy Pelosi did not threaten to withhold support of the entire package if the proposed spending levels were not met.
So why does the president’s infrastructure initiative have so little infrastructure and so much more progressive government takeover of a free society? https://t.co/qrQXCYgqyi
— James Jay Carafano (@JJCarafano) July 9, 2021
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