As far as I can tell, no one thinks HR1/S1 is going to be passed in this Congress. Negotiations over a ‘hard’ infrastructure bill currently have a White House proposal of $1.7 trillion and a GOP proposal which, once you wipe away the whip cream and sprinkles, is about $200 billion. And yet negotiations are continuing.
In recent days I see lots of complaints that ‘the Democrats’ are about to blow it on electoral reform, infrastructure and much else. This is wrong. The issue isn’t ‘the Democrats’. It’s a handful of centrist Senate Democrats who simply refuse to use the power at their disposal to pass these laws with 50 votes. In fact, it’s really just Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and probably at the end of the day just Manchin. The distinction is important because it’s easy to demoralize yourself. It’s easy for a political party to demoralize itself. It’s easy for people who have their own agendas to demoralize people because they think it serves their factional political interests. If you lived through the Obama years and think, ‘wow, did we really not learn this lesson?’ ‘what’s wrong with you people?’ well, that’s going to cause a lot of frustration and make you wonder just who’s calling the shots and what they’re thinking.