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Democrats’ Top Priority Before Fall Elections Is Rigging U.S. Voting Rules


Commentary BY: JONATHAN S. TOBIN | JANUARY 07, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/democrats-top-priority-before-fall-elections-is-rigging-u-s-voting-rules-2656251008.html/

U.S. Capitol after the insurrection

Have Democrats found the issue on which they can break what’s left of Senate traditions and parlay a 50-50 split into partisan domination? It’s far from clear that anything will be enough to move the two recalcitrant members of their caucus — Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., — to change their minds about voting to change the chamber’s rules that require a majority of 60 in order to invoke cloture and end filibusters. But if anything will do it, it might be the claim that passing their game-changing federal voting rights bill is the only way to defend American democracy against Republican insurrectionists.

Manchin and Sinema’s opposition was the rock on which the Biden administration’s effort to pass their trillion-dollar “Build Back Better” spending bill broke in December. The pair felt comfortable resisting presidential pressure as well as a storm of abuse from leftists on legislation that would likely sink an already shaky economy and fuel record inflation.

But with their ambitious spending plans blocked, Democrats are pivoting in the new year to a renewed effort to pass something that is likely even dearer to the hearts of their left-wing base: changing voting laws to make it easier for Democrats to win elections. They are tying the “nuclear option” on the filibuster and passage of voting bills to their attempt to turn the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot into a festival aimed at demonizing all Republicans as “insurrectionist” traitors who present a threat to democracy.

With their cheering section in the corporate media treating “Insurrection Day” observances as if it were a new national holiday and more important than 9/11, they’ve created more leverage that could shift their two holdouts. If it does, that would allow Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote to transform the electoral landscape in a manner that will end federalism for all intents and purposes and give federal bureaucrats unprecedented power to help Democrats win elections.

Democratic Holdouts Could Be On Board This Time

The crucial point here is that, unlike “Build Back Better,” Manchin and Sinema have already endorsed both the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the even more far-reaching “Freedom to Vote Act.” So this will be a far sterner test of their principled opposition to a move that would essentially seek to make the Senate, like the House of Representatives, a purely majoritarian institution.

The Senate was designed by the republic’s Founders to act as a brake on the will of marginal majorities seeking to use a temporary advantage to enact laws that would transform the country with unknowable and potentially dangerous consequences.

The John R. Lewis Act would allow the federal government to intervene anywhere in the country to overrule local or state authorities whenever the left alleges that changes in the laws could theoretically disadvantage minority voters. That would override the U.S. Supreme Court 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder that held that it was no longer legal for activist lawyers in the Department of Justice to act as if the country hadn’t been transformed since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 forced the end of de jure racial discrimination.

Legislation Would Federalize Elections

The “Freedom to Vote Act” would, in effect, federalize all elections. Along with turning Election Day into yet another national holiday, the act would impose early voting rules everywhere and allow voting by felons and attempts to influence those waiting to vote with gifts of food and water. It would make automatic voter registration, same-day registration, and online registration mandatory. It would also end partisan gerrymandering while still protecting often bizarrely shaped minority-majority districts that were created to ensure specific racial groups would dominate them.

Even more importantly, it would hamstring any efforts to ensure the integrity of the vote by preventing actions like the cleaning of voting rolls to ensure that people who have moved or died aren’t still registered. It would also ban widely popular voter ID rules, expand mail-in ballots, restrict efforts to ensure that their signatures are valid, and legalize vote harvesting. It would also impose new rules on campaign contributions in an attempt to override the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision that protected political speech.

Taken as a whole, the bill would make every future election resemble the chaos that affected the 2020 pandemic voting, removing guardrails that ensure fairness. Even if 2020 didn’t produce a fraudulent result, the election still undermined the credibility of the system (with Big Tech internet companies and the corporate media tilting the election against former President Donald Trump).

This Is Not Defending Democracy

But like their claims that the actions of a few hundred disorderly rioters was the moral equivalent of al-Qaida terrorism or the Confederates firing on Fort Sumter, the idea that these voting laws will defend democracy is nothing but gaslighting.

Harris recently claimed the “biggest national security challenge” facing the country was the alleged “threat to democracy” presented by Republicans enacting laws in various states to strengthen voter integrity measures. The House’s Jan. 6 Committee is a partisan kangaroo court in which Democrats, along with two GOP turncoats (Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.), are attempting to mainstream conspiracy theories about Trump and the GOP. Their efforts to delegitimize opposition to President Joe Biden and leftist woke doctrines as “insurrection” continue, and the room for even moderate Democrats to oppose the left’s impulse to crush all opposition is growing smaller.

A vote to end the filibuster and pass these voting laws would be far from a defense of democracy or an appropriate answer to “insurrection.” This would be a stunning blow to the way the Senate has always ensured that slim majorities can’t enact legislative revolutions.

The essence of American democracy has always been the way the Constitution created a system that preserved order while allowing incremental rather than wholesale change. Belief in that concept used to have bipartisan consensus. But not for today’s Democratic Party. It is led by an aging president who is held captive by a leftist base that wants to create a legislative revolution now, before Democrats’ razor-thin majorities are erased in the 2022 midterms. That means changing the rules to get their way by any means possible is an imperative.

Some radical Democratic provocateurs are claiming that if they don’t get their way, Republicans will never allow another fair election. Although a Republican counter-claim along the same lines may sound like hyperbole, it would be closer to the truth to assert that ending the filibuster and passing the Democrats’ voting laws would be a genuine threat to the integrity of American democracy.

It may be that after the Democrats’ conspiracy-mongering about Russian collusion in 2016 and Trump’s “stop the steal” claims about 2020, neither side will ever fully accept any election loss in the future. But if Manchin and Sinema don’t stand their ground, the system will be changed in a manner that will make cynicism about rigged voting more a matter of common sense than tinfoil-hatted extremism.

From Climate Change To Tax Cuts, Major Parts Of Democrats’ $2T Spending Bill Could Be On Senate Chopping Block


Reported by ANDREW TRUNSKY | POLITICAL REPORTER | November 28, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/11/28/climate-change-tax-cuts-senate-chopping-block-major-provisions-democrats-2t-bill/

Senators Meet For Weekly Policy Luncheons
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

House Democrats passed President Joe Biden’s nearly $2 trillion spending package Nov. 19 after months of high-stakes negotiations, but it faces an even rockier path through the 50-50 Senate before becoming law. Though the bill faces another vote-a-rama, which allows Republicans the opportunity to force unlimited, politically tricky votes on various amendments, this may prove to be far from the biggest hurdle. Senators from Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the most conservative Democrat in the chamber, to Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, are already on-record opposing various provisions and are preparing to rework the House-passed bill.

After the bill passed the House on near party lines Nov. 19, leadership touted many of the provisions at risk of omission, saying that the differences between House and Senate Democrats were minimal.

“Ninety percent of the bill was written together — House, Senate, White House,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at a press conference shortly after the bill passed, adding that while “some minor changes” may occur, they would be “nothing major in my opinion.”

But Pelosi’s optimism may not pan out, as Senate Democrats zero in on policies from paid family leave to state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Other provisions from raising taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations to overhauling IRS monitoring of personal bank accounts, have already been scrapped due to opposition from centrist Democrats like Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.

Below are several policies that may fall victim to Senate Democrats, despite their House colleagues’ best efforts to make them law. 

Democrats react to the passage of the Build Back Better Act the morning of Nov. 19. Its passage was undoubtedly a victory Speaker Nancy Pelosi.(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Manchin has repeatedly said that he opposes paid family and medical leave’s inclusion in the package, though he has also said he would support a bipartisan bill establishing it in the future. While the original proposal included 12 weeks of paid family leave, the House-passed bill has just four and would not begin until 2024. 

“That’s a challenge,” Manchin said in early November when news broke that Democrats were planning to re-add the provision to the bill despite his stated opposition. “I just don’t support ‘unpaid’ leave. That means getting more debt and basically putting more social programs that we can’t pay for.”

Manchin has also said that any reconciliation bill must include the Hyde Amendment, which bars Americans’ tax dollars from funding abortions in nearly all cases. The amendment was excluded from the House bill. House Democrats from high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey insisted that the SALT cap be lifted from the current $10,000 cap adopted in 2017 as part of former President Donald Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. In their version of Biden’s package, the cap would be lifted to $80,000 annually through 2030.

While the policy was touted by coastal House Democrats, including Pelosi, some of their Senate colleagues have staunchly objected to including a tax cut that would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy Americans.

“[I’m] not a big fan,” Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said of the SALT provisions after the House passed the bill. “I think it gives tax breaks to the wrong people: rich people.”

Sanders, who has long opposed raising the SALT cap, was even blunter. “I think it’s bad politics, it’s bad policy … The bottom line is, we have to help the middle class, not the 1%,” he said.

Even Manchin, who constantly torpedoed Sanders’ attempts to broaden the overall bill, has opposed reigning in how much in taxes Americans can deduct via SALT. While he has not commented publicly on the provision, he was the only Democrat who endorsed Republicans’ effort to establish the cap four years ago. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks with reporters as he leaves the Capitol in October. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Manchin has already scrubbed the White House’s proposed Clean Electricity Payment Program from the bill, and, along with Tester, ruling out a carbon tax as a replacement provision shortly after.

Manchin also reportedly objected to a union-made electric vehicle credit. The House-passed bill would allow for a $7,500 tax deduction on all electric vehicles and an additional $4,500 deduction on vehicles from companies meeting particular outlined criteria. As a result, an electric vehicle from General Motors or Ford could receive $12,000 in deductions, while one from Toyota, which has a large presence in West Virginia, could receive just $7,500.

“This can’t happen. It’s not who we are as a country. It’s not how we built this country, and the product should speak for itself,” Manchin told Automotive News on Nov. 11 while at a Toyota plant in his home state. “We shouldn’t use everyone’s tax dollars to pick winners and losers … Hopefully, we’ll get that … corrected.”

Climate change provisions also account for about $550 billion of the House-passed bill, and moderates, including Manchin, have insisted that the bill be fully paid for. The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that the package would add about $367 billion to the deficit over 10 years, not including potential revenue from IRS enforcement, meaning that the provisions could be tampered down if senators object to the bill’s overall price tag. 

Included in the House-passed bill is a provision that would grant provisional work permits to as many as 6.5 million noncitizen immigrants. Democrats hope that this will be the first step on a pathway to citizenship, but their last two attempts to include some type of immigration reform have been blocked by the Senate Parliamentarian, who ruled that the changes didn’t directly impact the budget to a point where they could be included in the filibuster-proof legislation.

“I do support the immigration proposals that are being offered in the upcoming reconciliation package,” Sinema told the Arizona Republic earlier in November. “I also recognize that there are legal limitations to what can be done in a reconciliation package.”

Democrats To Americans: If You Disagree With Us, You’re An Insurrectionist


Reported By Jonathan S. Tobin | NOVEMBER 1, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/01/according-to-democrats-expressing-political-dissent-makes-you-an-insurrectionist/

Photo Fox5/

For Democrats, Groundhog Day came nearly a month early this year. For them, like the character in the classic Bill Murray comedy, every day is Jan. 6. For them, every challenge to leftist orthodoxy, whether in the form of Biden administration policy or local school boards attempting to impose critical race theory, unreasonable COVID precautions, or transgender policies, is another day of insurrection.

They see insurrectionists everywhere. They see them in the media, where they demand that Fox News be canceled or demonetized because of its Trumpist heresies and refusal to treat a Capitol riot — in which the only person killed was an unarmed protester gunned down in cold blood by a police officer — as a new Civil War. They see them in Congress, where anyone who challenged the 2020 results or resists the Democrats’ bills to ban voter ID laws and make permanent pandemic-based election changes that removed guardrails against cheating are seeking to steal not just the 2020 election but the ones yet to be held in 2022 and 2024. They also see insurrectionists in state capitals, where legislatures that have passed voter integrity bills that seek to prevent future fraud without taking away anyone’s right to vote as not merely advocates of a new “Jim Crow” but the moral equivalent of the Confederates who fired on Fort Sumter to save slavery.

When Everyone Is an Insurrectionist

It also explains why U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland isn’t backing down on his outrageous effort to treat school board protests as an insurrectionist terrorist conspiracy. Despite heated questioning from furious Republican senators last Wednesday, he wouldn’t concede that his directive to the FBI and the rest of the Department of Justice to investigate school board critics around the country was based on a lie. He denied that he was targeting the free speech of parents who have protested decisions by school boards on curricula and other policies. That Garland would stand by the rash directive was all the more curious because the hearing came after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) had apologized for the letter that began this shocking episode.

Garland’s doubling down at the hearing about the need for the government to crack down on opponents does make sense. Or at least it does when placed in the context of his party’s current political obsession.

For nine months the Biden administration, its congressional allies, and its media cheerleaders have treated the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as not merely a disgraceful episode but an “insurrection” and “attempted coup” that represented an ongoing threat to the government rather than just a mob that ran amuck. At this point, it’s clear the Biden team has come to view any dissent from leftist dictums — be they national or local — as not merely unwelcome criticism but the work of Trumpist insurrectionists who must be put down rather than tolerated.

Democrats are determined to go on running against former President Donald Trump and his “deplorable” band of insurrectionists indefinitely. But they have been dismayed by the turn of events in Virginia, where resistance against the radical takeover of the schools by angry parents has transformed the gubernatorial race in what the left assumed was a securely blue state. So it was hardly surprising that the administration would seek to brand those citizens outraged by what was being done to their children as just another outbreak of the same insurrection they have been inveighing against all year.

Cornered by Republican senators, Garland asserted that his memo had not ordered investigations of angry parents as “domestic terrorists.” Yet his memo characterized criticisms of officials at public meetings as “harassment, intimidation and threats of violence.” In it, he stated plainly that Department of Justice would use its authority to “identify,” “discourage” and “prosecute” these alleged threats while maintaining “coordination and partnership with local enforcement.”

Even more disingenuously, he denied that the letter from the NSBA, which had been coordinated with the White House had prompted his directive. It labeled people like a Loudoun County parent whose daughter was allegedly raped by a boy in a girl’s bathroom then covered up by the school district as “domestic terrorists.”

‘Terrorists’ Have No Rights

Garland’s willingness to jump into that mess was predictable. Tellingly, earlier this month even after the truth had come out about the alleged rape and its coverup, Loudoun County Democratic Party Chair Lissa Savaglio called the parents “Republican insurrectionists.”

Republicans asked Garland about why the attempt to intimidate Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema into going along Biden’s spending spree when she was followed, harangued, and filmed in a bathroom wasn’t as worthy of investigation as incidents in which school board members were yelled at. Similarly, the invasion of the Department of the Interior earlier this month by a leftist mob demanding Biden adopt even more radical environmental policies didn’t make it onto his radar screen.

Nor is Garland or the mainstream media willing to admit that the hundreds of Black Lives Matter “mostly peaceful” riots in cities around the nation in the summer of 2020 were far more of a threat to public order and government authority than the misguided people who illegally entered the Capitol on Jan.6. But if we have learned anything in the last year, it should be this: Democrats will never stop talking about the insurrection.

In part, that’s because they actually believe their political foes don’t deserve constitutional rights. As we saw with their reaction to the fatal police shooting of Capitol protester Ashli Babbit and the treatment of those facing prosecution over their illegal behavior on Jan. 6, they believe insurrectionists have no rights, including those that guarantee due process.

Democrats also understand that labeling conservatives as domestic terrorists is key to their political survival as Biden’s presidency unravels in the face of domestic problems like the southern border crisis, the supply chain disaster, and feckless conduct abroad. Running on Biden’s record or defending efforts to impose woke ideology on children isn’t likely to bring them success. That means they will go on labeling anyone who questions their ideological hobby horses as Trumpist “traitors” so long as they think it will help them rally their voters to turn out and preserve their power.

Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor in chief of JNS.org, and a columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.

Manchin Confirms $1.5 Trillion Is His Top-Line Spending Number For Reconciliation Package, Says Biden Wants More


Reported by SHELBY TALCOTT | SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | September 30, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/09/30/joe-manchin-1-5-trillion-top-line-spending-number-reconciliation-joe-biden-wants-more/

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 30: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks to reporters outside of the U.S. Capitol on September 30, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is expected to pass a short term spending bill to avoid a government shutdown. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin confirmed Thursday that he proposed a $1.5 trillion maximum spending number for the reconciliation package Democrats are trying to pass. Manchin, a key holdout to the hefty $3.5 trillion bill, proposed a $1.5 trillion deal to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer over the summer, Politico reported Thursday. Manchin has been openly critical of the spending bill, advising members of his caucus earlier in September to “hit the pause button” and raising concerns over its price tag.

While it’s long been reported that Manchin’s top line falls far below the $3.5 trillion proposal, Thursday’s reporting revealed that the Democratic senator compiled a physical one-page document outlining his ideal cost as well as various conditions.

Manchin’s document suggested raising the corporate tax rate to 25% and raising the top tax rate on income to 39.6%, according to Politico, which obtained a copy of the document. Manchin and Schumer signed the document, which noted that the former lawmaker does not guarantee that he will vote for the final reconciliation legislation if it exceeds the conditions outlined in this agreement.”

Schumer wrote a note on the document vowing to “try to change Joe [Biden] on some of these,” Politico reported. 

Manchin confirmed the number to reporters Thursday, and said Biden is aware of his $1.5 trillion top-line. This is the first time the senator shared the number publicly with the press.

WATCH:

Manchin noted that the president wanted “a lot more than” that. The White House has been evasive on whether Manchin or Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, another holdout, had given Biden a solid number that they’d accept for the package.

“I would point you again to Sen. Sinema and Sen. Manchin,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “We knew that it would be a compromise, and that’s exactly what it is. And as you know, the President has spent a great bit of time, relatively so, but given nothing more precious than the time of the President of the United States over the last two days engaging with each of these senators about the path forward. But I would leave it to them to describe what they’re comfortable with.”

Manchin also said that if Democrats want a higher price tag, they should get more progressives elected.

“For them to get theirs, elect more liberals. I’m willing to come from 0 to $1.5,” Manchin said

Senate Passes The Largest Infrastructure Package In Decades, Over A Dozen Republicans Vote In Favor


Reported by ANDREW TRUNSKY | POLITICAL REPORTER | August 10, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/08/10/senate-passes-infrastructure-package-dozen-republicans-join-dems-kyrsten-sinema-rob-portman-joe-biden/

Lawmakers Continue To Work On Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal On Capitol Hill
(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Senate on Tuesday passed its bipartisan infrastructure bill, moving what would be the largest public works package in decades one step closer to becoming law months after negotiations first began. The bill, which advocates praised as the largest investment in America’s infrastructure since the construction of the interstate highway system in the 1950s, passed 69-30. Nineteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the package.

The legislation, titled the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was on a glide path to passage after beating a Senate filibuster Sunday night, when 68 senators voted to end debate.

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the bill’s lead Democratic negotiator, said Monday on the Senate floor that the bill would “make America stronger and safer, create good-paying jobs and expand economic opportunities across the country,” and praised her colleagues for their commitment to reaching an agreement. “This is what it looks like when elected leaders take a step toward healing our country’s divisions rather than feeding [them],” she added.

The IIJA costs $1.2 trillion over eight years, $550 billion of which is new government spending, and puts hundreds of billions of federal dollars toward roads, bridges, ports, broadband and more. It was led by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman on the Republican side, and was the product of negotiations among 22 senators and President Joe Biden.

“[This is] landmark and needed legislation in fixing our roads, railroads, our ports, electrical grid and more,” Portman said on the floor. “I’m proud of what was done on that … It will improve the lives of all Americans. It’s long-term spending to repair and replace and build assets that will last for decades.”

Talks first began with West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, but collapsed after she and the White House could not agree on the overall size and scope of the bill. Negotiations then shifted to the bipartisan group, but remained precarious for weeks as they struggled to compromise on how to finance the new spending and what it should cover.

It was late July when Portman announced that the group had reached agreement on the “major issues,” and that Republicans were ready to move forward. 

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks after the bipartisan bill cleared its first procedural vote in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema speaks after the bipartisan bill cleared its first procedural vote in July. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The bill cleared its first procedural vote hours later with the support of 17 Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a clear indication that it had the necessary support to beat a filibuster and pass. Two days later, 16 Republicans joined Democrats in officially voting to begin debate.

Senators originally sought to pass the bill last week or over the weekend, but were blocked from doing so by Tennessee Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty, who refused to forgo hours of scheduled debate. He cited the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that the bill would add $256 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years, arguing that the legislation was not fully paid for, unlike what its negotiators previously said.

Hagerty’s delays earned praise from former President Donald Trump on Sunday, who had repeatedly tried to intimidate Republicans into opposing the package. In multiple email statements he disparaged McConnell for supporting the bill, calling it a “disgrace” and the “beginning of the Green New Deal,” and floated backing primary challengers against other Republicans who backed it. 

With the IIJA’s passing, senators are now set to take up their budget resolution, keeping them in Washington for another marathon session with dozens of politically tricky amendment votes and eating into their prized August recess. The mammoth resolution, unveiled by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday, addresses priorities omitted from the infrastructure bill including health care, climate change and immigration and as outlined costs $3.5 trillion.

“This legislation in so many ways begins to address the working families of our country,” Sanders said on the Senate floor Monday. “But in one important way, maybe the most important, is as we address the needs of our people in health care and education and climate, we are going to create many millions of good-paying jobs that the American people desperately need.” 

Sen. Bernie Sanders authored Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget, which he has acknowledged will likely pass on party lines. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. Bernie Sanders authored Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget, which he has acknowledged will likely pass on party lines. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

While Republicans unanimously oppose the reconciliation package, Senate rules allow for Democrats to pass it with just a simple majority vote, meaning that it could pass strictly along party lines if their caucus all votes for it.

McConnell on Tuesday accused Democrats of playing “Russian roulette with our country” and said the budget would be the “largest peacetime tax hike on record.”

“This new reckless taxing and spending spree will fall like a hammer blow on workers and middle-class families,” McConnell said. “If all 50 Democrats want to help [Budget Committee] Chairman Sanders hurt middle-class families … well, that’s their prerogative, but we’re going to argue it out right here on the floor at some length.”

Several progressives, however, have sought to tie the bipartisan bill with the reconciliation package, with some in the House hinging their support for the former on Senate Democrats passing the latter. In an attempt to hold her narrow majority together, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that she will not bring the bipartisan bill up for a vote until the Senate passes the reconciliation package as well, despite moderates urging her to bring up the infrastructure package as soon as possible. 

Others have also been critical of the infrastructure bill, which was adopted as a substitute for the $715 billion surface transportation bill that the House passed in July, arguing that it inadequately invests in climate, housing, child care and more.

Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, the chair of the House Transportation Committee, reportedly called the bill “crap” after a deal was reached, lamenting the fact that it omitted large swaths of the transportation bill he authored and disregarding the White House’s endorsement of it.

“I could give a damn about the White House. We’re an independent branch of government,” he told reporters in July. “They cut this deal. I didn’t sign off on it.”

‘We Have A Deal’: Biden Reaches Bipartisan Infrastructure Agreement


Reported by ANDERS HAGSTROM, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT | June 24, 2021

Read more at https://dailycaller.com/2021/06/24/biden-manchin-infrastructure-deal/

President Biden Speaks On Country's COVID-19 Response And The Vaccination Effort
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden reached a deal with a bipartisan group of senators to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, he announced at the White House on Thursday.

Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced Wednesday evening they had reached the beginnings of an agreement. The meeting, which included five Republican senators, five Democratic senators and several top White house officials, continued with Biden at the White House on Thursday.

Biden met with the group for just 30 minutes before emerging from the West Wing and announcing “We have a deal.”

The $1.2 trillion deal includes $579 billion in new spending, which will fund measures like expanding broadband access, addressing water shortages in the West U.S., improving public transit and more than a dozen other infrastructure projects, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.

The deal also proposes several means of gathering funds to pay for itself, including a sale of the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve and the redirection of unused emergency relief funds from 2020. The bill also relies on the expected positive economic impact of upgraded infrastructure as a cost offset.

Senators at the meeting echoed Biden’s words during a joint press gaggle outside the West Wing.

“Today, we are announcing the framework for an historic investment in infrastructure,” Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman told reporters. “I’m pleased to see today that we’re able to come together on a core infrastructure package. This is not non-infrastructure items without new taxes…This was a team effort.”

“No one got everything they wanted in this package,” Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said. “We all gave some to get some…We are delighted to go back to the Hill and begin earning more support from both Republicans and Democrats to get this bill across the finish line.”

Specifics of the agreement are still forthcoming, but it is significantly smaller than Biden’s initial $2.3 trillion plan 

Biden and Republicans have repeatedly gone back and forth on potential infrastructure deals, with talks stalling out a number of times. The Thursday deal may not be the end of the road, however, as some Democratic senators have expressed disappointment with Manchin’s deal with Republicans. The 10 Republicans he picked up with the plan may be counter acted by Democrats who drop their support for the bill. Many senators on both sides of the aisle have yet to see the specifics of the deal.

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