Being in majority doesn’t mean being in control

The current impasse in the Democratic Congressional caucus is a prime example that the party that holds the majority in Congress does not necessarily have the power to do whatever it wants.

The Democrats in Congress are wrangling over the high-priced transportation and social spending bills that make up President Joe Biden’s signature legislative agenda. The transportation and infrastructure bill, totaling $1 trillion, has passed the Senate but is still awaiting passage in the House, caught up in the argument over the $3.5 trillion social spending bill that the progressives in Congress wish was bigger, and which the moderates want to cut down to a reasonable size, if a trillion dollars can be said to be reasonable.

The progressives are refusing to vote on the transportation bill until their bigger spending bill passes. Moderates are insisting that the transportation bill is considered separately from the social services bill.

Meanwhile, Biden is turning up the heat on legislators like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who holds the key vote in the evenly divided Senate. If he doesn’t vote for the spending bill, it’s going nowhere.

Republicans, meanwhile, are happily watching the Democratic infighting and negotiating.

We suspect the bills will eventually pass, in much different form than now. The social spending bill may be cut in half or more before it gets through Manchin and the moderates.


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