In case you didn’t notice I wanted to draw your attention to one thing. While Senator Schumer and the White House were trying to revive some skinny version of the BBB and climate legislation with Joe Manchin, Senator McConnell tried to scuttle those talks with a threat. He would pull GOP support from the China competition/CHIPs bill if the Democrats did not drop those negotiations. As it happened, Manchin scuttled the deal so the threat became moot. Then the CHIPs bill passed the Senate yesterday and then within like an hour — voila — the Manchin deal was back and somehow finalized. Senate Republicans were clearly pissed but the bill had already passed the Senate.
It certainly seems like Senate Democrats pulled a fast one on their Republican colleagues. As surprising as it may seem, it’s hard to see how Manchin wasn’t in on it at some level. House Republicans certainly seem to think so. They’ve now switched to whipping members to vote against the bill. Notwithstanding the fact that it actually has broad bipartisan support, as well as strong support from the semiconductor industry and the foreign policy and national security community. But the House isn’t the Senate. Democrats don’t need Republicans to break a filibuster. They probably don’t need Republicans at all. The question is whether enough House progressives will take the lead of Senator Bernie Sanders and vote against the bill as a giveaway to corporate America. But the administration seems to have members of the House Progressive Caucus broadly on board. Adding to the complexity and the fun, voting against the bill probably represents an electoral liability for Republicans in a number of key districts.