In a surprise twist that likely has Joe Biden fuming, it may not be the GOP that blocks the president’s hopes of striking a bipartisan deal on infrastructure from coming to fruition.
The Washington Examiner‘s Naomi Lim reported Sunday that many progressive members of the Democratic caucus are resisting concessions suggested by the moderate lawmakers currently negotiating the deal.
Their hesitancy calls into question whether Biden can really rally his party behind a deal more like what the GOP wants to see in terms of infrastructure.
The president, for his part, had originally called for some $2 trillion in infrastructure spending as part of a package that many Republicans said far exceeded the realm of “infrastructure.”
Since then, members of the Biden administration have sat down with congressional negotiators on multiple occasions, but they seem to have hit a roadblock when it comes to making a deal.
Some reports had suggested Dems in Congress may end up opting to move forward on an infrastructure package without the support of the GOP.
But this plan was upended by centrists Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin (WV), who have refused to go along with attempts to push legislation through Congress without the support of the minority party.
With that, it was back to the drawing board, and moderate lawmakers got to work negotiating what they hoped would be a bipartisan deal. It would appear that the effort has the backing of Biden — but now, some on the far left are hoping to see it summarily quashed.
As Lim reported for the Examiner, progressives on Capitol Hill say the bipartisan approach doesn’t go far enough to address issues facing the nation and the world, including climate change.
They also aren’t happy with the slimmed-down price tag suggested by negotiators — namely, $579 billion in new spending, and $1.2 trillion over the next eight years. It’s a ways off from Biden’s original goal of $2.3 trillion, Lim notes.
But speaking with the Examiner reporter, GOP strategist Evan Siegfried said even the most liberal Democrats will have to come to a deal at some point — or they’ll feel it at the ballot box come November 2022.
“This is where elected Democrats on the far left have to decide whether they care more about results and compromising, or pontificating and postulating,” Siegfried told Lim. “While these Dems are likely not to suffer the consequences of their obstruction in their own district, they will need to recognize that if they sink a bipartisan bill, it will have electoral consequences for vulnerable House and Senate Democrats in 2022.”