Joe Biden risks a revolt on his left flank if he doesn’t start making good on his promises as members of the Squad and other progressives are losing patience with Joe and Kamala. The Dems have no room to spare so when AOC went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and said the left has as much power as Joe Manchin because every vote is needed you know Biden was not happy.
“Are we passing the deal that helps working people the most? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. “Are we passing the deal that makes the most jobs? Are we passing a deal that brings down the most climate emissions? Are we passing a deal that raises wages and actually improves our infrastructure for the next generation?”
Yvette Simpson, chief executive of the progressive organization Democracy for America, said: “Right now people are really getting frustrated because it’s been six months and we don’t see Joe Biden engaging in the way that he should to push for more support. In fact, he’s negotiating against us and what Democrats want.
“So I think there’s a growing sense of frustration among progressives and it’s understandable. We’re feeling like the clock is running out and we’re wasting valuable time and that’s where you’re going to start to see the squad and other members of the progressive movement push back and saying, ‘OK, we’ve got a limited window of time here. We need to put up or shut up’.
“There’s going to be some blowback if the squad is fighting for things that we actually should get done and the rest of the party is saying, oh no, Republicans aren’t on board, oh no, let one person decide that he’s going to hold up an entire agenda for the entire nation, that the entire nation wants overwhelmingly.”
“Pres. Biden & Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake w GOP Senators is really worth the dismantling of people’s voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes, etc” AOC said recently on Twitter.
Jamaal Bowman, a new member of The Squad said that Manchin “has become the new Mitch McConnell.”
From The Guardian:
It was Ocasio-Cortez, a social media star with a global profile, who hailed Biden’s first hundred days in office as having “definitely exceeded expectations that progressives had”. After all, the president’s staggering $1.9tn coronavirus relief package had been swiftly passed by Congress and signed into law, albeit without a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage that liberals have long sought.
Now cold reality is intruding, however. Legislation on voting rights, gun safety, immigration and police brutality is faltering in a House of Representatives where Democrats hold a slender 220-211 majority and a Senate split 50-50 with Republicans (vice president Kamala Harris gives the party the tie-breaking vote).
Biden’s next big ticket item, the American Jobs Plan, which initially proposed more than $2trn for infrastructure, is facing a rockier road. He conceded ground in negotiations with Republican senator Shelley Moore Capito that ultimately collapsed. Then a bipartisan group of senators came up with a $1.2trn proposal but, progressives say, it fails to address the climate crisis, healthcare and childcare.
Democratic leaders are now discussing a two-step process in which they pass a smaller bill with bipartisan support but then follow up with a second measure passed through a process known as budget reconciliation, which would require near total party unanimity.
The underlying challenge for Biden is how to keep together an unwieldy Democratic coalition that encompasses conservative senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia – which is Donald Trump country – and senator Bernie Sanders, a self-declared democratic socialist from Vermont, who this week drafted a $6trn infrastructure package.
Then there is the squad, the left-leaning group of House members that now consists of seven people of color. The more that Manchin digs in his heels against ambitious legislation, the more restive the squad is likely to become, raising difficult questions over whether Biden is applying sufficient pressure to bring the doubters on board.