Joe Biden cannot afford to lose a single Democrat vote in the Senate if he expects to get his massive $3.5 trillion spending spree budget package enacted. The two most significant threats to the bill are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), who have expressed hesitancy about the plan.
Manchin has previously said that the $3.5 trillion number is just too large for him to accept.
Reporting is now indicating that Sinema gave Biden some more difficult news after a meeting last week. She has told Biden that if the House does not hold its vote on the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill as scheduled on September 27, or if that vote fails to pass, she will not be voting in favor of the budget reconciliation spending bill.
The Arizona moderate Democrats office said it would not reveal the content of her private discussions with Biden but did state that Sinema looks forward to Nancy Pelosi making good on her promise that a vote would take place following Monday.
It is reported that there are at least ten moderate House Democrats who are aligned with Sinema regarding the vote and support for the spending bill. That includes Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), who said that if the House vote on the infrastructure bill is delayed or fails, “you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” and that it would be “dead.”
The leftist progressives in the House are currently taking an opposite position. They are threatening to withhold votes for the bipartisan infrastructure bill if it is not packaged with the budget reconciliation bill after passage by the Senate.
Currently, it appears that the infrastructure bill is in some holding pattern without a clear indication that it has enough votes to pass in the House. That failure would crash the budget bill as well. Pelosi appears not to have any reliable Republican votes for the infrastructure bill and can only afford to lose three Democratic votes in favor of it.
The Democratic infighting looks like it might hold favorable prospects for Americans. If both bills fail, Congress may have to focus on an infrastructure bill that provides for actual infrastructure spending that is desperately needed. A realistic budget bill might be negotiated that doesn’t simply allow every Democrat to line up at the feeding trough for their pet spending projects that the country cannot afford.