At a closed-door lunch on Tuesday, Sinema, an Arizona Democrat, told her caucus she would try to strike a deal with Republicans on an infrastructure package and that she had been. Biden’s blessing in that effort, according to three sources in the room.
But after Sinema left the meeting One Democrat after another gave up the strategy and expressed deep dissatisfaction with what they viewed as a fruitless attempt to find consensus with the Republican Senate. Concerns that a two-party deal is unlikely to win the support of many parties in The political party reflects the growing tension between the party’s progressive and moderate wings.
“There’s no way Manchin and Sinema will cut a deal that represents a political party̵7;s point of view,” said one Democratic senator. “It won’t happen”
Another Democratic senator added: “A group of four or five did not receive 50 Democrats.”
Democrats’ grievances highlight this fear. They may waste their best chance of passing Biden’s agenda, with their party controlling both Houses and most of them at stake by the middle of next year. and with the opportunity to pass legislation binding to make it more bleak as the next election draws. Democrats say now is the time to abandon Republicans and try to bill infrastructure along the partisan line.
But they need support from Manchin and Sinema, who spent Tuesday evening in the Capitol basement trying to cut a deal with a handful of GOP senators within hours that Biden ended talks with Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia after. They hit a dead end after weeks of negotiations.
“I am ready to move from the bipartisan to primary priorities for the Biden administration for some time,” said Senator Mazie Hirono of the Hawaiian Democrat.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said Democrats had a bad record of wasting valuable time due to the Obama years.
“We have a bad record to live on,” the White House said.
Democrats seek unity in many aspects.
But the problem facing Democrats is They need the support of all 50 members of their political party to drive their economic agenda successfully through an opposition budget process – and they have no support from Manchin and the others. who want to find a deal with the Republican party instead
Top Democrats declined to say on Tuesday if they were confident Manchin and Sinema could find a two-party deal that could beat their political parties.
“There isn’t much time left at this meeting,” Senate budget chair Bernie Sanders said. which is an independent organization in Vermont Which is a political party with Democrats and a senator who opposes the Democrats’ lunch. said on Tuesday “I don’t see any indication that Republicans are ready to support the serious legislation this country needs.”
Indeed, after he left for lunch, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wouldn’t say whether or not he believed that Cinema-Manchin’s efforts could create a bipartisan agreement for satisfaction. the satisfaction of his political party
Instead, he stated that he would allow the two-party talks to continue. while executing the only turnkey strategy to move the infrastructure bill along a straightforward party line. This will allow negotiations to continue this month. to see if a two-party agreement can be reached Before proceeding next month through the bill through the budget reconciliation process. This is the tactic the Democrats used to proclaim the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 pandemic. Relief legislation earlier this year was unsupported by the GOP.
But there are strict restrictions on the terms that can be included in such packages. Because it has to involve a budget to meet strict Senate rules. Plus it will only pass if all 50 members of the Democratic Party agree.
“We are working on a two-way proposal,” Schumer said when asked about the bipartisan talks. “On the other hand There are two-party talks and it’s going on… We all know that as a political party. We cannot do everything the country wants in a totally two-party, two-party way.. and at the same time We are seeking reconciliation.”
Schumer’s No. 2 makes it clear that the success of the rest of Biden’s agenda lies in leading a successful reconciliation process.
“I hope,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, when asked if the agenda went down to a reconciliation process.
The rest of the agenda is dangerous imp.
Schumer this month set the stage for voting on hot issues that lack the support of the 10 Republicans needed to shatter the opposition, including the electoral law and the House of Representatives bill on gun violence. Schumer had no support within his political party to change the opposition rules and reduce the 60-vote requirement for moving the law to 51.
And that suspicion is broader than just Manchin and Cinema.
New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, may face a tough election in November next year. Calls to overcome the opposition’s 60-vote threshold have not yet been opened. Although she supports some changes in the way this strategy is used. When asked if she would support the 60-vote threshold reduction, Hassan did not directly answer. “It’s important for us to do as much as we can” in a bipartisan fashion.
“Not yet” Senator Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat. which is involved in bipartisan infrastructure negotiations When asked if he supported the opposition “I think the opposition has a purpose. on the other side Some people use it to block things, and that’s not good.”
Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat in Arizona to be elected next year. It stated that he had not decided whether to reduce the 60-vote requirement or his position in line with Sinema’s opposition to the rule change.
while Kelly said on Tuesday that he was “A believer in change in general,” said a freshman Democrat, “I will assess changing our rules regardless of what is in the best interests of Arizona and the best interests.” of our country”
For many Democrats especially those who advance in the council Allow the mediator in the Senate to determine the party’s ambitions. They were still angry with them.
Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the head of the progressive political party in the House of Commons, said it was time for Biden to step up.
“The reason we followed the American Rescue plan was because the president convinced us. The longer we let things sit idle, the more time we spend with the opposition. We only give more time to those who want to wait because they don’t do much. What do you want to accomplish?” Jayapal said.
Others were outspoken in directing their anger at the Democratic-led Senate.
“I’m very upset,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of the New Jersey Democrat. told CNN on Tuesday. “The Senate is not doing its job.”
CNN’s Ted Barrett and Morgan Rimmer contributed to the report.