It’s a rerun of the playbook Democratic leaders used just weeks ago, only to have it blow up in their faces. But Democrats insist it actually might work this time, with political and legislative incentives aligning more neatly than they did in September.
Pelosi and Schumer are telling their members they need to secure an agreement on the social spending bill by the end of this week. The House could even vote by the end of the month.
“We’re getting there. The gaps are closing. The vibe in our caucus is different. Folks are being more clear-eyed about: ‘We’ve got to get this done,’” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who is close to Biden. “There’s a lot of reasons why these next 10 days are critical. To chip shot this into December is really, really problematic.”
Democrats are also getting more specific, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) tossing a carbon tax and a green utilities program overboard while insisting on means testing much of the bill. Biden also told progressives Tuesday that an expanded boost to the child tax credit could be made shorter and that free community college could be jettisoned.