Someone poke him to make sure he's awake.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (a title we still enjoy writing) declared yesterday that there would be zero Republican votes in the Senate for Joe Biden's big infrastructure plan, because oh noes, we can't possibly create jobs and invest in the economy if we pay for that by increasing taxes on corporations, which would obviously kill the economy. Everyone knows the US economy was bereft of life until 2017, when McConnell and Republicans enacted the Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads.

McConnell told reporters in Kentucky that the infrastructure proposal wouldn't get even one itty bitty GOP vote, because Biden wants to raise the top corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, which is still lower than the 35 percent rate prior to the 2017 tax cuts.

That package that they're putting together now, as much as we would like to address infrastructure, is not going to get support from our side. Because I think the last thing the economy needs right now is a big, whopping tax increase.

McConnell then went on to cry great big turtle tears all over his traditional meal of shredded iceberg lettuce, because of how terrible it is that our grandchildren will be burdened with the enormous debt resulting from the infrastructure spending. Look, he's on a roll. Never mind that the spending will be paid for over 15 years by those tax increases McConnell also opposes.

While the enormous deficits resulting from the tax cut bill were perfectly fine, now there's a Democrat in the Oval Office, which means debt suddenly matters again.


"You're either alarmed about the level of national debt and the future impact of that on our children and our grandchildren or you aren't," he said. "My view of infrastructure is we ought to build that which we can afford, and not either whack the economy with major tax increases or run up the national debt even more."

So let's review: You can't do infrastructure unless it's paid for. But you also can't pay for infrastructure with taxes. Maybe we could just pay for "proceed at your own risk" signs on the approach to all bridges, especially if we can get a corporate sponsor.

McConnell's rejection of even the possibility of Republicans working on the bill comes despite President Biden having said he would welcome bipartisan input. This way, you see, McConnell can now whine that whatever ends up passing was "forced through" by Democrats without even allowing the GOP a place at the negotiating table.

Many Democrats were already anticipating there'd be no Republican participation, so they've been looking at ways to pass the infrastructure plan through the budget reconciliation process, which is how they passed the big COVID relief package. The upside of reconciliation is that it allows spending bills to pass with a simple majority, but Senate rules restrict what exactly can pass that way.

The other option, of course, would be to reform or do away with the filibuster; so far, moderate Dems Joe Manchin (West Virginia) and Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona) have said they oppose eliminating the filibuster, although Manchin has at least said he's open to reforming how it's done.

Manchin has also previously said he would only vote for an infrastructure bill if it has bipartisan support. Now that McConnell has preemptively cut off even the possibility of Republican involvement, we don't yet know whether Manchin will simply say that's it for infrastructure, sorry, which strikes us as unlikely. But who knows how big a jerk he'll be about it?

And so the great drama of representative democracy moves on, with one party mostly interested in getting things done, the other party betting that its path back to power depends on doing nothing and then complaining that nothing gets done, and one dipshit posturing about how we really need to reach out to the face-eating leopards for the sake of bringing America together.

[Politico / NBC News]

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Doktor Zoom

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.

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