On Oct. 12, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reprimanded congressional reporters on Capitol Hill for failing to do something that isn’t in their job description. According to a new CBS News poll, only 10% of those surveyed know what is in President Joe Biden’s infamous $3.5 trillion spending package. When asked about the low level of public awareness, Pelosi was quick to blame the press. Who else, right? The White House and Democrats? No, according to the speaker, the media have the obligation to educate the public.
WATCH: Speaker Pelosi gets upset with reporters for not doing a better job selling the House Democrats' $5.5 TRILLION tax and spend package to the American people. pic.twitter.com/zCGfoaf0j1
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) October 12, 2021
It all started when CBS News reporter Nikole Killion asked, “Do you think you need to do a better job at messaging, and going forward, how do you sell this?” Pelosi responded, “Well, I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you.” She went on to condemn the media for failing to do justice to the related bill items, such as family medical leave.
Pelosi went on to rationalize that “it is hard to break through when you have such a comprehensive package.” And if her blaming the media for the lack of awareness was not bizarre enough, the speaker, an apparent mind reader, said, “Whether [voters] know it or not, they overwhelmingly support it.”
Building Back Better But Not Together
President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan is focused on expanding Medicare coverage, extending public education, and lowering family spending costs. Specifically, the Democrats’ budget resolution includes universal pre-kindergarten, free community college, clean energy and transportation incentives, hearing, vision, and dental benefits in Medicare, and investment in VA housing, hospitals, and employment development.
The hefty price tag of the package is keeping moderate Democrats such as Senators Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Joe Manchin (WV) from supporting the president’s agenda. In response to the stalemate, progressives have increased pressure on them to cave. Immigration activists from Living United for Change in Arizona confronted Sinema at Arizona State University, following her into the bathroom.
Manchin is concerned that his coal-focused state will be hammered by the climate policies in the spending bill. He faced protesters from the Center for Popular Democracy who floated up to his houseboat on the Potomac River on kayaks. Manchin met them outside to hear their concerns.
Democratic Party leaders have acknowledged they will likely cut $1 trillion or more from the package to get enough votes to pass the House. The speaker hinted at not cutting programs altogether but trimming the funding “to do fewer things well.” Nixing whole programs could win over centrists but endanger support from progressives.
Biden, his administration, and the speaker are adamant that the Build Back Better agenda costs “zero dollars.” Yes, according to the Dems, the $3.5 trillion spending package would cost nothing.
My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars.
Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America.
And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 26, 2021
Deflecting Her Problems
Pelosi is undeniably struggling to pass the $3.5 trillion spending bill. It is Democrats’ job to educate the American people and persuade lawmakers, not order them, to support it.
Her apparent inability to get enough votes in the House has caused her to dump her frustration on the media. Telling reporters they could do a better job at “selling” the bill exposes the symbiotic relationship between the Democrats and the media. Lack of coverage is not the issue; the bill has been flooding the news cycle for the last few weeks. The free media are not fighting for votes to pass the spending bill; elected government officials on Capitol Hill are.
~ Read more from Keelin Ferris.