Breaking: Dems retreating to infrastructure vote? Maybe ...

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Today’s planned Build Back Better vote may be renamed to Build Back Later, as Punchbowl’s Jake Sherman quipped a few minutes ago. Nancy Pelosi’s grand plan to get Joe Biden’s reconciliation bill passed in the House and pushed into the Senate fell apart on the same lines as her previous 423 attempts (roughly). Moderates won’t move without CBO scoring — perhaps especially after reading the red-wave writing on the wall.


Instead, the Congressional Black Caucus has offered Pelosi a face-saving out from the corner into which she painted herself … again:

Pelosi intended to use the rules vote to “deem” the reconciliation proposal passed. That plan has gone out the window, and progressives are not happy at all about it. In fact, even with the progressive CBC backing the plan, Manu Raju hears that as many as twenty progressives could vote against it:

Pelosi can only afford to lose three, don’t forget, and she can forget about getting Republican assistance. No Republican who watched the Tuesday election results will have any inclination to help Democrats climb out of the hole they keep digging for themselves, not even to get to the infrastructure bill. In fact, as it turns out, they probably won’t have to lift a finger to get that BIF vote today anyway.


That’s especially true given the BBB scoring that came down yesterday from Penn Wharton for reconciliation:

Penn Wharton estimates that, as written, the framework could cost $1.87 trillion, while raising $1.56 trillion in revenue, over 10 years. That’s both more spending ($1.75 trillion) and much less in taxes ($2 trillion) than the White House projects.

So the entitlement bill doesn’t come close to paying for itself, and that’s before the House restored a program for four weeks of paid family leave. Penn Wharton estimates that it would reduce economic growth by 0.1% by 2050 and add 2% to the federal debt.

But here’s the shin kick, and it’s a bruiser. Penn Wharton says that if all of the provisions of the bill (except green energy tax cuts) are made permanent, new spending would increase by $3.98 trillion, while the tax revenue would stay at $1.55 trillion, over 10 years.

That’s more than twice what the White House is trying to get Americans to believe. Penn Wharton says this level of spending would increase the federal debt 25.2% and reduce GDP 2.8% compared with current law by 2050.

This matters because Democrats openly admit that their strategy is to pass new entitlements like national child care, disguise their cost by pretending to phase the programs out inside the 10-year budget window, but assume they will become permanent as they always do. This means the real cost of the Sanders-Biden-Pelosi budget is $4 trillion, and it will put the U.S. on a path to European entropy.


Thus far, it doesn’t appear that House Democrats can agree to do anything today, not even the BIF. The only accomplishment Nancy Pelosi can claim is to have held the longest vote in House history — on a motion to adjourn. We’re at six hours and counting:

The House appears to have broken its own record for the longest vote in modern history on Friday, with a more-than-five-hour roll-call on a GOP motion to adjourn (originally slated for 15 minutes). We’re checking with the parliamentarian before making an official call.

Around 11:55 a.m. today, meanwhile, came this quip from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas):

“Anyone who is up watching C-SPAN at this hour wonders what in the heck the House is doing right now. All the problems we have to solve and this is the best we can muster?”

No … this is the best that Pelosi can muster in her own caucus, on a vote she insisted on attempting to hold today.

If we get any vote from the House today, I’ll be shocked. But even if they manage to pass the BIF and punt BBB, it will still be a massive humiliation for Pelosi, Hoyer, and Biden. Stay tuned.

Update: I’m not gonna say that House moderates don’t trust the White House, but …


… yeah, I’m gonna say they don’t trust the White House. That would be at least a couple of weeks off, by which time the Senate may or may not have a completely different bill on the table. Voting for the rule alone is a punt, and everyone knows it, especially progressives.

Update: Looks like Pelosi got her escape hatch:

We’ll see if this works. Pelosi promised to pass the BBB today too.

Update: This doesn’t look promising:


Remind me again who thought it would be a good idea to have this fight out in the open. So much for Pelosi’s political skills.

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