Messy Budget Fight Could Destroy Biden’s Infrastructure Deal

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine) – The first huge step – taken by President Joe Biden and the Senate — heading into the infrastructure deal happened last week. Now an even bigger step must be taken – approval of the budget.

Democrats now are looking to achieve Senate unity as they “secure the votes for a bipartisan accord.” It’s a “political tightrope in the House.” There are disagreements on the unfolding of immigration as well as the debt of the current infrastructure plan. This is, of course, the second spending bill on infrastructure and is the largest of the two bills introduced by Biden.

In July the first test of “Democratic harmony” will occur. It will come in the form of a fight “over the budget blueprint that would set a price ceiling for the sweeping Democratic bill.”

This will be a difficult effort for Speaker Nancy Pelosi along with her leadership team. They will need to “win over both impatient progressives and anxious centrists without losing more than four votes.”

Biden’s agenda will feel major consequences that go beyond the physical infrastructure.  Reconciliation is a process that will come into play. Democrats “need a budget to unlock the process.” This will allow the president and party leaders “to sidestep a Senate GOP filibuster of the larger package addressing childcare, climate change, and other progressive priorities that they’ve said must accompany any bipartisan infrastructure bill.”

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) says of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Nancy always says unity is our strength. In this case, unity is our only chance.”

The budget blueprint to be presented in July will not tell exactly what this second infrastructure bill will include. However, both chambers should be in agreement as to the entire price tag for the plan. They also need to agree as to “which committees would be empowered to spend that money.”

The majority of the Democrats think that their ”leadership will ultimately pull it off.” However, they also realize that there is nearly no margin for error.

Representative Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) has already declared that he will probably oppose any kind of budget that would include trillions more dollars of spending. This “no vote” would take Pelosi’s majority from four to three.

SOURCE

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