It’s hard to believe that just a month ago, much of the media was pushing a narrative about certain doom for the Democrats’ legislative agenda if they didn’t nuke the filibuster. The Democrats along with the Biden administration still managed to pass the American Rescue Plan through reconciliation, at the amount they proposed, with ways to keep Republican governors from abusing the funds at the state level. It’s the latest sign that they’re not going to fritter away their power while they hold all the seats, as so many pundits, and not a few left-leaning voters have been hand wringing about on Twitter.
Now that the economy is receiving a much-needed stimulus, Democrats are preparing for their next major step in delivering to the American people, with an upcoming bill on infrastructure. Like last time, they have no illusions going into it – they wholly expect Republicans will resist and obstruct wherever they can to delay things, so they’re likely going once again with using reconciliation for the bill, and having multiple committees draft legislation that will then be cobbled together in the final version.
Sen. Ben Cardin even let word of this get out, in a conversation he had with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. It’s not much of a secret that they’ll have to go this way, so he’s at least able to say on the surface that he doesn’t want to have to use it, and letting the GOP know that he’s onto them. They’re yet again on the wrong side of popular legislation that has for much of American history been a bipartisan issue – and Cardin is making sure to limit even the marginal power Republicans have right now to stall this bill.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making