Remain calm, Democrats — all is … ah, no one’s buying the Chip Diller routine, are they? If anyone was foolish enough to think that Nancy Pelosi had a vote ready to roll today, this scene on Capitol Hill should disabuse everyone of that fantasy:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on whether there’s going to be a vote today: “I don’t know,” he told us pic.twitter.com/x8MnfGAzZW
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 5, 2021
He added, “We’re still working on it,” which is what House moderate Josh Gottheimer had to say as well:
Gottheimer leaves Pelosi’s office, mobbed by reporters but says nothing of substance on BBB negotiations.
Says they are still “working on it”
— Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) November 5, 2021
All credulous media reports on Pelosi aside, this means that they have never had any agreement on the vote in the first place. At the moment, it appears that the moderates are holding firm on getting a CBO score first, which means that this won’t move until the end of the month. Or longer, actually, unless Pelosi accelerates the debt ceiling and spending bills to clear some legislative calendar time for this in December.
Maybe there won’t be a need. A new survey from Emerson shows that the supposedly wildly popular Build Back Better proposal is anything but:
From what you know about the #BuildBackBetter spending bill, do you feel it would make a positive impact in your life, or not?
34% positive impact
39% negative impact
16% no impact
11% unsurehttps://t.co/xSVc1ai3BI pic.twitter.com/kUb32A7SKB
— Emerson College Polling (@EmersonPolling) November 5, 2021
When asked whether the “Build Back Better” social spending bill will have a positive impact on their lives based on what they know about it – 39% think it will have a negative impact on their lives; while 34% say it will have a positive impact, 16% no impact, and 11% are unsure.
That may not be CBO scoring, but after Tuesday’s Democratic debacle, this scoring might matter more. This is even more interesting, given the changes Pelosi has made to the bill:
When asked if they support or oppose raising taxes on individuals earning greater than $400,000, a majority of respondents (61%) expressed support, and 31% were opposed. Support for this issue is highest among Democrats (81%), and Independents (56%). In contrast, a plurality (47%) of Republicans oppose raising taxes on individuals earning greater than $400,000, while 42% support this measure.
With that as context, let’s not forget that the bill that Pelosi wants to push today contains a massive tax cut for the wealthy. Pelosi added in a raise to the SALT deduction cap that pushes the limit from a $10,000 deduction to a $72,500 deduction. That benefit falls obviously on people who earn so much money and own enough property to pay as much as $72,500 in state and local taxes, which … isn’t exactly aiming that benefit at the middle class. The Democratic donor class, perhaps, but not the middle class.
Do moderates really want to sign onto a progressive package that’s not just unscored but also contains a massive tax cut for the rich? One that is now underwater with the American electorate? Your guess is as good as mine … or Hoyer’s … but it’s not moving at the moment, anyway.
Update: I missed this in Emerson’s poll, but this score might matter even more than the lack of support for BBB. Via Citizen Free Press:
2022 Generic Congressional Ballot Poll:
Republicans 49% (+7)
Democrats 42%@EmersonPolling ~ 1,000 RV ~ 11/3-11/4https://t.co/BhoLNU478N
— PollTracker (@PollTrackerUSA) November 5, 2021
An R+7 result in a generic-ballot question doesn’t just portend a red wave. It suggests that the midterms will look like the elevator scene from The Shining. That’s an outlier in generic-ballot polling thus far, as RCP shows, but so was the Economist/YouGov survey that put the question at D+7, too.