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Congress

Democrats, You’ve Done It Again!

Build Back Better could be toast, but at least the Dems passed a gargantuan defense bill!

Chuck Schumer speaking on the Senate floor.
The HIll

Here are two tweets that landed one hour apart:

LOL! Yep! To just dive into the first thing a little more, let’s turn first to NBC News:

Democrats in the Senate are preparing to miss their self-imposed deadline to pass President Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion social safety net bill before the end of the year, according to four sources familiar with planning by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office.

The decision to try again next year is based on simple math — Schumer doesn’t have the 50 votes needed to pass the legislation thanks to Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who remains a hold out.

NBC reports that Democrats might not return to Build Back Better till March. Because what will definitely revive this corpse is spending even more time poking at it. Hey, maybe we should have listened to people who kept saying that giving right-wing Democrats a win on the infrastructure bill would empower them to kill Build Back Better. Just a thought.

Why is Manchin holding out? Over to CNN’s Manu Raju:

Cool cool. And Manchin is being great about everything:

Meanwhile, the current child tax credit is about to expire, with seemingly no chance of being revived any time soon, and student loan payments are coming back:

Not to worry though: NBC further reports that Democrats are instead moving to take up some kind of voting rights bill, and that they’ve had “numerous meetings in the past several days to discuss a possible rule change” so that they can circumvent the filibuster to pass legislation. Presumably these meetings are going to be just as healthy and productive as all the Build Back Better meetings! If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this past year, it’s that Democratic meetings always yield results.

Luckily, the Senate is capable of passing some big things, as long as they involve tons of weaponry. At the same time the Build Back Better news was leaking out, the Senate waved its $768 billion Pentagon funding bill through with a bright, cheery smile. The opening paragraphs of the New York Times writeup sum things up nicely:

 The Senate on Wednesday passed a $768 billion defense bill, sending legislation to President Biden that will increase the Pentagon’s budget by roughly $24 billion more than he requested.

The bill, which angered antiwar progressives who had hoped Democrats’ unified control of Washington would lead to significant cuts in military spending, passed overwhelmingly on a 89-10 vote. It includes significant increases for initiatives intended to counter China and bolster Ukraine, as well as for more ships, jets, and fighter planes than the Pentagon requested.

It feels entirely possible—maybe even likely—that, at the end of this process, the Democrats will have failed to deliver either their social spending bill or any voting rights legislation. But at least they will have given the war machine more than it even asked for. Oh, and this too:

No child benefit or universal healthcare or voting rights, but lots of bombs and insider trading: that’s the Democratic promise. Vote blue no matter who!