Remember when the Biden presidency was brand new and Democrats in the House and Senate proposed a sweeping, $6 trillion package to rebuild our social safety net, cut drug prices, upgrade our infrastructure, rescue our students and elderly, and save the environment?
As it was moving forward, a small group of Republicans and Democrats who call themselves the “corporate problem solvers caucus,” told us that if they could just peel off the parts that involved actual physical construction of infrastructure into a separate bill, they’d get it going right away without having to worry about the filibuster.
Following Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, it’s now obvious that we have a genuine crisis around the way we select a president, one that can be exploited by a politician committed to destroying democracy.
The Democrats in the group promised to vote for the remainder of the legislation, now called Build Back Better, while at the same time they were working with their Republican colleagues to require that every penny in the “bipartisan infrastructure” bill be run through for-profit donor corporations via so-called “public-private partnerships” (Joe Manchin introduced the amendment for this: it’s now law).
Progressives in the House tried to keep the two bills together so the “problem solver” Democrats like Manchin & Sinema couldn’t drop Build Back Better, a valiant effort that required enormous guts and determination: Pramila Jayapal and the Progressive Caucus led the…