The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Democrats’ Problem in One Paragraph

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) speaks before signing legislation passed by the House during an enrollment ceremony to memorialize the people killed in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016 in Orlando, Fla., on Capitol Hill, June 16, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The New York Times reports that:

Ms. Sinema of Arizona has privately told colleagues she will not accept any corporate or income tax rate increases. But recent discussions by Senate Democrats about adding a carbon tax to the bill to both combat climate change and help replace that revenue have run up against concerns raised by three House Democrats from Texas. In a letter to Ms. Sinema and Mr. Manchin, they expressed their opposition to several provisions in the bill aimed at combating climate change, and also came out against increasing a minimum tax on overseas income from U.S. companies above where it was set in 2017.

The Democrats have other challenges, of course. But this one is neatly indicative of their problem overall. They can’t lose a single vote in the Senate; they can’t lose more than three votes in the House; and yet there exist profound disagreements as to what the party should do — and how. In normal circumstances, this would lead to the swift realization that radical change should be off the table. But these are not normal times, alas.

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