House May Pull Infrastructure Bill as Manchin Deals Knock-out Blow on Reconciliation: “Fiscal Insanity”

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced earlier in the week that she would be taking a second try at a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Thursday, after putting it on Monday because she didn’t have the votes.

But it’s looking like she still doesn’t have the votes now, and in the words of The Hill, is “poised to pull the infrastructure vote” yet again.

As we reported earlier, the progressives have made it clear that they don’t intend to vote on it, putting it in jeopardy. But if she puts it off again, after promising it for Monday, the moderates have threatened to revolt if it happens yet again.

“Obviously, our group will have a lot of trouble with that,” said one of them, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), according to The Hill. “And it will be catastrophic.”

“If the vote were to fail tomorrow or be delayed, there would be a significant breach in trust that would slow the momentum in moving forward in delivering the Biden agenda,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition, declared.

Translation: you do this to us again, don’t expect us to do anything for you on the bigger reconciliation bill, which the moderates already have issues with.

The Hill reported that Pelosi tried to jerry-rig a compromise.

First, she said the infrastructure and family packages must move “simultaneously” — the same criterion the liberals have demanded. And second, she stipulated that the legislative text of the larger package must be finalized before the House will act on either bill.

That seemed impossible and was immediately rejected by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), “That won’t happen,” he said.

Manchin now has had multiple meetings with Biden on the issue. All this back and forth appears to have made him even more recalcitrant and hardened in his stance on it all.

He released a statement today that just flames the reconciliation bill and implicitly suggests that what Biden and “Democratic leaders” in the House are pushing amounts to “fiscal insanity.”

Here’s the most pertinent part:

Every Member of Congress has a solemn duty to vote for what they believe is best for the country and the American people, not their party. Respectfully, as I have said for months, I can’t support $3.5 trillion more in spending when we have already spent $5.4 trillion since last March. At some point, all of us, regardless of party must ask the simple question — how much is enough?

What I have made clear to the President and Democratic leaders is that spending trillions more on new and expanded government programs, when we can’t even pay for the essential social programs, like Social Security and Medicare, is the definition of fiscal insanity. Suggesting that spending trillions more will not have an impact on inflation ignores the everyday reality that America’s families continue pay an unavoidable inflation tax.

“Proposing a historic expansion of social programs while ignoring the fact we are not in a recession and that millions of jobs remain open will only feed a dysfunction that could weaken our economic recovery. This is the shared reality we all now face, and it is this reality that must shape the future decisions that we, as elected leaders, must make [….]

Overall, the amount we spend now must be balanced with what we need and can afford — not designed to reengineer the social and economic fabric of this nation or vengefully tax for the sake of wishful spending.

Exactly right. They’re trying slam through a wishlist of items that they don’t need, but they want, because they are long term Democratic goals for power, and they think they can get it all now because of the pandemic. But Manchin is obviously not buying into this, and especially not the “it costs zero dollars” nonsense, calling it “fiscal insanity” and ignoring the effect it will have on inflation.

I don’t know what Pelosi thinks she can pull out of a hat on this one… but this definitely is in critical condition — and they’re about to shut off the life support.

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