After the announcement on the White House driveway Thursday, this weekend the bipartisan infrastructure deal seems to be on the rocks. Meanwhile, Biden’s American Jobs Plan is advancing in the Senate with the introduction of the Better Care Better Jobs Act This bill is one of several that will become part of a budget reconciliation allowing Senate Democrats to deliver both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan without any Republican support — assuming all Democrats hang together.
The bipartisan infrastructure deal was simply a “framework,” no actual legislation had been drafted by Thursday when it was announced. In contrast, the Better Care Better Jobs Act is a bill. Perhaps the infrastructure framework can become a bill and provide the roads, bridges, broadband component of Biden’s plans. Perhaps that bill will still draw some Republican support, perhaps not.
Anyone who has watched Lindsay Graham over the years had to suspect his being one of the 10 Republican Senators counted on to support the bipartisan infrastructure compromise. He was in the group all along to explode the deal. His drama queen performance yesterday – claiming he never knew of a separate reconciliation bill — is classic Graham. And, unfortunately, that’s the modus operandi of the modern Republican party: Gaslight with false outrage. Rather than be discouraged, Democrats should see this as just part of the negotiation to ultimately get the job done and deliver a series of historic laws for the American people.
The bipartisan infrastructure compromise was a gift President Biden gave to the Senate Republicans. If they reject it, it’s their loss, not ours. It would have allowed Republican incumbents to claim they support substantial infrastructure spending and point to an accomplishment that Trump promised repeatedly but never delivered. Rather than accept that gift, they prefer pandering to their base with theatrical, and false, screams of betrayal.
It’s time to move on from negotiations with Republicans and do the work of legislating. The Better Care Better Jobs Act is the first step. The Act has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate. Unfortunately, Arizona’s two Senators are among those 10 Democrats who are so far not co-sponsoring. Time to call and write and ask them to get on board. Contact Info for our Senators.
Update June 27: We’re just boarding the infrastructure roller-coaster Biden’s Saturday statement did not “delink” the bipartisan bill from reconciliation, as Portman claimed on Sunday.