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.”
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
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.
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.
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