Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill On Verge Of Brilliant Success Or Horrifying Failure!
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to go ahead with an initial vote today to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, after securing the support of all 50 Democratic senators Monday, or at least maybe he had all 50 when Politico wrote about it yesterday afternoon. The final shape of the agreement still isn't in place, prompting some Republicans to say they'll absolutely block the vote today, but maybe they'll agree in another vote to begin debate Monday if a deal is worked out over the weekend. So everything's moving forward smoothly, awaiting only Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), who isn't involved in the negotiations anyway, to complain the bill doesn't include an investigation of Hunter Biden's laptop.
Haha, we are kidding of course. Ron Johnson already came out against the bill Monday, saying, "I always warn people, 'beware of bipartisanship."" (We are a teensy bit suspicious of the sudden cutoff of that video from Wisconsin Democrats — what else did he say? — but this article is not actually about Ron Johnson anyway.)
On Twitter just a little while ago, Schumer reiterated his intention to hold a vote on the bill, so he doesn't seem dissuaded by Republican calls to please wait until the bill is all ready to go. CNN reports Schumer said earlier today that "We all want the same thing here: to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill. But in order to finish the bill, we first need to start." He is some kind of Zen master there.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), who also has not been part of the group of Republican moderates actually negotiating the compromise bill, took to Fox News this morning to call Schumer's procedural vote today "a whole new low," and then lied about 1) the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act and 2) what today's vote would even be.
We go back from 10 years ago where Democrats were saying we need to pass the bill to see what's in it. Now they're talking about trying to pass the bill before they even write it. Literally, no one has seen the text. No one, even the people that are in the negotiating team have not seen the final text on it. And they're trying to be able to bring it up for a vote and say, let's move to start debating a text that no one has actually seen.
Again, just to review, no, Nancy Pelosi never said that, and 2) this would be a vote on moving forward on debate, not a vote on the bill, and not even Republicans who support a delay on the vote are pretending the full text of the bill will be written by Monday.
As Politico points out, even if today's vote fails to get 60 votes, that doesn't mean the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, which includes about $600 billion in new spending, is actually dead. Instead, another vote can be held next week, assuming the last kinks in the agreement can be worked out among the 22 Republicans and Democrats negotiating the infrastructure deal. Schumer's goal appears to be to get all the Democrats on board with the bipartisan bill so progress can also be made on the much larger second track for Joe Biden's infrastructure plan, the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, a Republican, told CNN's Jim Sciutto this morning that he honestly doesn't care how the infrastructure bill is passed, although he thinks it would be nice if the Senate could do some bipartisanship.
Do we really pretend to understand all of this? Mostly, it looks like a very important bit of primate behavior that involves some hooting, tree-shaking, and poo-flinging before the negotiations are finalized and at least 10 GOP senators can then vote to start debate. It's the Senate, not anything that's supposed to make sense.
Following today's vote, the bipartisan negotiating group is expected to find a nice shady spot where they can groom each other and eat bugs they find in their colleagues' glossy coats. That, or they may start biting each others' heads off, you just don't know.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.