Lawmakers are returning to session to rule over the American people and chew gum – and they are all out of gum. Following a weeks-long break of political theater, representatives and senators are descending upon Capitol Hill. Democrats will attempt to advance President Joe Biden’s agenda, from attacking the Second Amendment to sending Uncle Sam deeper into debt. Republicans will ostensibly bide their time until the midterm elections and grimace over wokeology being pervasive throughout the United States. So, what is going on this week?
Until the next recess, the main courses on the congressional menu are infrastructure and the economy, with a couple of side dishes of strangling the right to bear arms and grappling with security measures in the nation’s capital.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) penned a “Dear Colleague” letter to his fellow legislators, explaining that “we still have much to do to deliver on our promises to the American people.” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote a separate note promising to “make progress” on a broad array of issues, including voting rights, gun reforms, and the economy.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris sat down with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss the administration’s American Jobs Plan 2021. The multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative will target the country’s roads, bridges, water supply, manufacturing, and broadband internet.
Top Democrats have stated that they want Republican support to pass these measures. At the same time, they have signaled that they are prepared to push ahead with a budget process known as reconciliation that permits bypassing the Senate’s legislative filibuster. But will Democrats need to be concerned about the GOP or members of their own party?
Watching Sinema in a Manchin
Two names keep popping up: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Manchin has opposed raising the corporate tax rate to 28% to cover the president’s eight-year spending plan in 15 years. Reports suggest policymakers are skeptical that Sinema could endorse all of Biden’s measures.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), a leader of the House Democrats’ moderate faction, warned that tax hikes could threaten the post-coronavirus economic recovery:
“We need to be careful not to do anything that’s too big or too much in the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis. It’s got to be responsible and both parties need to be at the table. This can’t just be jammed through without input and consideration from the other side.”
Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) has confirmed that he will not support the tax code adjustments unless the state and local tax (SALT) deduction is reinstated. Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) would only vote for a smaller corporate tax hike that “doesn’t disadvantage our companies,” pointing to “the right spot” of 25%.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement to Axios:
“We know there will be a range of views on how we get there, but we look forward to working with a broad coalition of members on the critical priorities of the president’s plan: creating good jobs and making America more competitive — paid for without any tax increase on people making less than $400,000 a year.”
The latter statement has already come under scrutiny since it is unclear if the White House intends to confiscate greater wealth levels from individuals or families. Whatever the case, the next several months will be about spending a lot and taxing even more. But will Republicans focus on handwringing or compromise? It might depend on who representatives and senators are taking their marching orders from: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) or former President Donald Trump and the America First conservatives.
Will History Run Its Course?
The Democrats hold a slim majority in both chambers, so the GOP is mostly powerless. Considering how outlandish, exorbitant, and perhaps unpopular the policies being outlined by the administration are, Republicans may not need to do much during this session. Instead, they will likely sit on the sidelines, allow the Constitution to serve as a barrier to the leftist agenda, and let the absurdity speak for itself. If history is any indicator, President Biden will in all probability lose his legislative might, opening the door for a return to power for the Republican Party. It is the cycle in the Swamp that leads to the same results: fewer freedoms, more debt, and popcorn entertainment on the cable news channels.
Read more from Andrew Moran.