The House and Senate are finally both back in session, kicking off a tumultuous period when Democrats try to defend their legislative agenda from obstructive Republicans, institutional obstacles and themselves.
One of the biggest looming (and completely artificial) deadlines comes next Monday — the date when rebelling House moderates pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to bring the bipartisan bill to the floor. House progressives warn that they will kill the bipartisan bill if the Senate hasn’t yet passed a robust reconciliation package, something which seems unlikely to happen by the moderates’ deadline.
Over in the Senate, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is also gleefully threatening to derail the twinned process. He’s insisting that the reconciliation package be shrunk, and be held for some indeterminate amount of time. President Joe Biden met with him, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), personally last week.
And those are just the problems Democrats are causing themselves. Republicans are refusing to help raise the debt ceiling, playing political chicken with a global economic catastrophe — all while chiding Democrats about their irresponsibility. Meanwhile, the parliamentarian is already making cuts to the reconciliation package. Buckle up.