Hot on the heels of Senator Manchin’s “Whoa, Nelly,” Politico reports that Senator Sinema has told Joe Biden that she’s aware of the game being played by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and she’s having none of it:
MODS TO BIDEN: BIF NOW OR BUST — Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) delivered a tough message to President JOE BIDEN at a private meeting Wednesday, we’re told:If the House delays its scheduled Sept. 27 vote on the bipartisan infrastructure plan — or if the vote fails — she won’t be backing a reconciliation bill.
Sinema is not the only moderate taking this stand. Rep. KURT SCHRADER (D-Ore.) — one of approximately 10 moderate Democratic House members playing hardball with leadership — said he and several members of their group are on the same page. Some of the lawmakers have conveyed that message up the chain to leadership and the White House. A senior Democratic aide confirmed the warnings.
“If they delay the vote — or it goes down — then I think you can kiss reconciliation goodbye,” Schrader told Playbook. “Reconciliation would be dead.”
Or, to put it another way:
INSIDE THE MODS’ CALCULATION: Progressives think if they band together and threaten to kill the infrastructure bill, it will convince moderate members to go along with the larger reconciliation package. But multiple sources — including a senior Democratic aide and several in the centrist camp — tell us the left is misreading their colleagues.
The upshot: Some moderates privately have decided that no infrastructure bill is better than one that’s paired with $3.5 trillion in spending.
I have long been baffled by the idea that “spend $3.5 trillion or we won’t let you spend $1 trillion” would be a convincing argument to the non-crazies. Perhaps it’s actually not.