The fight between various factions within the Democratic party over the outcome of the infrastructure and budget reconciliation negotiations is coming to a head. For months the Caucus has been working on a strategy that would put both the infrastructure bill and a budget reconciliation package up for a vote at the same time, satisfying both centrists and progressives.
Unfortunately, corporate interests have been out in full force, and several Wall Street Democrats in the House and the Senate are putting their interests before the American people’s. They are demanding that the bipartisan infrastructure package goes to a vote before the reconciliation bill, in a move that would essentially block trillions of dollars of investments in the American people and tax hikes on wealthy individuals and corporations.
In response, the Congressional Progressive Caucus needs to stand strong, to stand together, and refuse to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill unless it is directly coupled with the full $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Progressives in Congress should challenge their “centrist” colleagues to go back to their districts and explain why they had control of the federal government and did nothing to mitigate the damage wreaked on this country by a global pandemic and decades of underfunding. Let them go to their voters and explain why maintaining preferential treatment for the rich in the tax code was more important to them than providing free pre-K to our children, eldercare to our families and healthcare to our citizens.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s threat to kill President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan if the House fails to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package on September 27th should mark a turning point for progressives. The Wall Street Wing’s performative objections to the bill’s size and timeline of its passage are nothing more than a smokescreen for the fact that they do not want to raise taxes on millionaires, billionaires, and corporations.
That’s why it’s time progressive Democrats got serious about confronting the corporatist members of their party. At this pivotal moment, the best and only way for honest Democrats to stand for their fellow citizens is for them to stand publicly against these unprincipled members of their caucus.
Senator Sinema’s fellow Arizona Representatives must hold her accountable. She is failing her duty to represent her (and their) constituents, and they have a duty to call her out and do everything they can to overcome her obstruction.
Democrats must put the interests of Americans who work for a living over the interests of the investor class. They must put the interests of our children and grandchildren over the interests of private equity managers. They must put a basic sense of fairness at the heart of our nation.
This is a battle progressive should fight, and one they CAN win. The vast majority of the American people, the bulk of Democratic voters, and The President of the United States support this package – the party needs to act like it.