When Democratic proposals begin to fail, Senators Sinema and Manchin tend to take all the heat. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually alone in their opposition. Indeed, as we’ve now seen with both the minimum wage and the filibuster, their reluctance is often a warning sign that there are other Democrats who do not want to get aboard, but do not want to say so quite yet.
This morning, Politico reports that:
It’s unclear exactly how many Democrats are siding with prominent House and Senate moderates. One centrist Democrat up for reelection next year, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), declined to say whether she’s comfortable with the $3.5 trillion spending number on Monday, or whether she agrees with pausing the legislation.
The 2022 midterms are still a long way out, but at the moment Hassan is losing. And she knows it. Perhaps, when it comes to it, she won’t care. Perhaps she’ll be convinced that she can save herself by acquiescing to the binge. Perhaps she’ll end up voting for the whole thing, if she gets the chance, out of blind loyalty to her party.
But perhaps she won’t. And, at the very least, the fact that she won’t answer questions suggests that this is not a position she especially wants to be in.
The same Politico piece notes that:
Democrats close to the centrists say progressives are vastly overplaying their hand. A group of five to 10 House moderates have signaled to leadership that they would be willing to let the infrastructure bill fail rather than be held hostage by liberals over the broader spending bill. It’s a more attractive alternative to them than having to vote for painful tax increases to pay for an unrestrained social safety net expansion, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
That this wasn’t obvious all along is astonishing to me. The Democrats’ plans are utterly absurd. They are extraordinary. They represent government malpractice of the highest order. Joe Manchin seems to know it. Kyrsten Sinema seems to sort of know it. The moderates in the House seem definitely to know it.
Does Senator Hassan? Do others?