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Politics The Wheels Seem to be Coming Off Democrats’ Infrastructure Plans

21:21  08 april  2021
21:21  08 april  2021 Source:   time.com

'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges

  'Child care is infrastructure': Democrats mocked for expanded definition beyond roads and bridges Arguments from Democrats in favor of an expanded definition of infrastructure as it relates to President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, widely described as an infrastructure package, reached a new level on Wednesday. © Provided by Washington Examiner "Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure," New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said in a tweet. Paid leave is infrastructure.Child care is infrastructure.Caregiving is infrastructure.

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a bridge over a body of water: Construction continues on a new $463 million Nice/Middleton Bridge in Newburg, Maryland, on April 8, 2021. © Drew Angerer—Getty Images Construction continues on a new $463 million Nice/Middleton Bridge in Newburg, Maryland, on April 8, 2021.

The week began filled with optimism for Democrats’ plans. The Senate rules maven said unexpectedly that Democrats could use the procedural equivalent of a quadruple jump in Olympic ice skating to steamroll a massive infrastructure bill into law with only Democratic votes.

Then West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from the second Trumpiest state in the country, said he wasn’t signing onto the plan as President Joe Biden introduced because it goes too far in hiking the corporate tax rate. The progressive wing of the party pushed for a bigger package than the $2 trillion as introduced. And the top Republican in the Senate pretty much promised no GOP collaboration or support from across the aisle.

GOP to present their own smaller $650 billion infrastructure proposal

  GOP to present their own smaller $650 billion infrastructure proposal Many GOP members have criticized Biden's bill for including in-home care, climate change, and housing under a plan meant to focus on 'infrastructure'Many GOP members have criticized Biden's bill for including in-home care, climate change, and housing under a plan meant to focus on 'infrastructure.

So Biden threw the White House’s doors open for “compromise.” Inaction, Biden said yesterday, wasn’t an option. Hours later, Manchin was again causing indigestion for his party, publishing an op-ed in The Washington Post that basically declared he was out if Republicans wouldn’t play ball. And then the 10 Republicans who had flirted with the Biden White House on the COVID-19 package said their proposals last time weren’t actually considered and suggested they don’t really feel like repeating that frustration again.

By nightfall, the White House was trying to salvage the mess with a thread on Twitter about the underlying plan’s merits.

Progressives who have been down this road before stewed. Such a quest for Republican support has time and again proven a false chase in recent years, especially on legacy-making projects like Biden’s first COVID-19 relief package or Barack Obama’s stimulus and health care laws. On the final point, Democrats for months chased Republican support in negotiations. Finally, one of those negotiators said the soft-part aloud when Sen. Mike Enzi told a Wyoming town hall that he was never going to support what became Obamacare but merely was forcing Democrats to whittle down their ambitions. Still, Republicans successfully introduced 188 changes to the bill, according to a New York Times analysis.

Biden releases breakdown of what needs fixing for infrastructure plan

  Biden releases breakdown of what needs fixing for infrastructure plan Republicans slammed President Joe Biden's $2.7 trillion infrastructure plan as a 'dog's breakfast of slush funds' for Democrats as White House releases state-by-state breakdown of what needs fixing.Biden will host four GOP lawmakers - along with four Democratic ones - on Monday to discuss his massive infrastructure plan, which Republicans have criticized for containing more than traditional infrastructure projects.

Put simply, it’s not in Republicans’ interests to give Biden a win here. They ran this playbook during Obama’s first term. While they weren’t able to stop Obamacare, they did grind D.C. to a slower pace. And voters in the 2010 midterms rewarded the Republicans and their fearmongering about Obamacare with a net pick-up of six Senate seats and a 63-seat swing in the House. It was, in Obama’s own words, a “shellacking.”

Building roads and bridges may be harder to demonize than “death panels” and a “government takeover” of healthcare. But it would still be simpler for Democrats to get it done without having to wrangle with their Republican colleagues. So hopes for Biden’s plan for a massive infrastructure investment rose like a rocket Monday when the Senate parliamentarian made her decision. But by mid-day Thursday, its odds grew longer as Biden faced at least one-defection-too-many from his fellow Democrats and probably zero interest from opposition Republicans.

Biden’s Vision for ‘Care Infrastructure’ Needs More Socialism

  Biden’s Vision for ‘Care Infrastructure’ Needs More Socialism Meeting the demand for high-quality elder care — while raising wages for those who provide it — would require radical measures.The origins of this semantic conflict aren’t hard to discern. Infrastructure is America’s original “big government” program and one of the few forms of public investment that the Republican Party deems legitimate. Bipartisan consensus has long held that the nation’s roads and bridges are in desperate need of renovation. Donald Trump’s presidency was composed almost entirely of misbegotten “infrastructure weeks.” And Joe Manchin, supreme ruler of the U.S.

Still, it’s Washington and we are nothing if not a city that knows patterns. Talks will unfold, where Biden will probably trade away pieces of the bill. Mitch McConnell, for instance, has said he prefers it not to raise taxes, add no red ink and focus solely on hard projects like bridges and roads. Well, those first two are often pretty contradictory goals without deep cuts elsewhere. But Biden will make some creative attempt to meet McConnell in the middle. It’ll undoubtedly enrage his left flank, making even a victory for Democrats taste bitter. And, if history is any guide, the plan will still sway zero Republicans.

Which leaves us at this point: Manchin is still in the middle. As we wrote about back on March 10, Manchinology might be what drives the possible in Washington, at least for the next two years. And right now, unless there’s a big bipartisan bow around Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, it’s not going to get Manchin’s blessing. At least for now, Republicans aren’t showing up with rolls of ribbon, but progressives might show up with shears.

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American voters overwhelmingly support the nontraditional measures in Biden's infrastructure bill .
A CNBC survey found that just 36% of voters like Biden's infrastructure plan as it is. But they largely support measures that GOP lawmakers oppose.According to a CNBC survey released on Thursday, just 36% of Americans supported Biden's infrastructure plan as he presented it - only three percentage points higher than those who oppose the plan, at 33%. This is about half the level of support that Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plan received in similar polling in March.

usr: 0
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