House passes bipartisan infrastructure bill
November 8, 2021 7:29 PM   Subscribe

The major bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was passed by the Senate back in August, was passed by the House on Friday, with a handful of Republican votes. AP: Biden hails infrastructure win as ‘monumental step forward’. New York Times: House Passes $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill. CNN: Here's what's in the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Previously.

Summary from the previous thread:

—$40b bridges
—$11b safety
—$39b transit
—$66b Amtrak/rail
—$7.5b e-vehicle chargers
—$5b clean buses
—$17b ports
—$25b airports
—$50b water resilience
—$55b drinking water
—$65b broadband
—$21b enviro remediation
—$73b power/clean energy

GCU Sweet and Full of Grace:
There's this thing where any time Republicans win something, or sort of win something, or hold the status quo and claim it as a win, all their followers start jumping up and down about what a huge victory that was and the media follow suit and by golly it looks like the Republicans won! But any time the Democrats win something, all their followers immediately start looking for something that's wrong with it and talk endlessly about how awful it is and by golly those Democrats sure look like chumps!
posted by russilwvong (52 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
But any time the Democrats win something, all their followers immediately start looking for something that's wrong with it and talk endlessly about how awful it is and by golly those Democrats sure look like chumps!

Well then, let me be the first to say 🥳
posted by phunniemee at 7:31 PM on November 8, 2021 [17 favorites]


russsilwvong:
GCU Sweet and Full of Grace: I think I'm going to have to quote your comment every time I post some kind of good news.
Reader: he did.
posted by nushustu at 7:46 PM on November 8, 2021 [12 favorites]


Every damn one of those line items will offer good jobs for the kind of people that the NYT tells us are not Democrat voters. But I don't care because it's so awesome to see my country spending on its own upkeep: the ultimate self-care!

I just would love to start leaning on the dual message of "Dems got these blue collar projects under way" and "Dems got you the vaccine shot that got you out of the house."
posted by wenestvedt at 7:51 PM on November 8, 2021 [14 favorites]


My favorite historian newsletterist, Heather Cox Richardson, wrote about the Democrats passing the bill on Friday night, and quoted Wajahat Ali: "Democrats pass the biggest investment in infrastructure since the Depression."

This is an extraordinary achievement, and - while a handful of Republicans voted for this bill - this is absolutely a triumph for the Democrats in Congress, who found ways - despite impossibly thin margins - to get this bill passed, including getting centrists in the House to agree in writing to support the Build Back Better Act.

Axios notes that history was made as the House kept open the two longest-ever votes while members were kept from the floor during deliberations.

I am so proud of the Democrats who worked so hard to get this through both houses, and so grateful for what they've done.

I'm tired of the media's relentless slant that the difficulty with this bill was the Democrats' infighting and not the Republicans' obstructionism. I saw lots of headlines saying "the Democrats desperately need a win."

Well, this is the biggest infrastructure win since the Depression. Whether or not the press reports it that way, I'm going to make sure that's how I talk about it to my friends and family. (Also, I really must send thank-you emails to my representatives.)

We did this, and this is an AMAZING THING.
posted by kristi at 7:52 PM on November 8, 2021 [36 favorites]


It is good news but I sure wish this had happened sooner. The Senate passed it on Aug 10.

I realize there were all sorts of reasons, but still.
posted by mono blanco at 7:57 PM on November 8, 2021 [4 favorites]


I'm very happy to celebrate this. I hope to have more to celebrate soon.

I can't keep but feeling another shoe is going to drop, probably owned somehow by McConnell, but until it does, I'd support a lot of cockiness and some dancing in the streets.

This is going to make a huge difference in this country.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on November 8, 2021 [4 favorites]


This is good news for me because I like rail and I plan to get an electric car in the near future ... so hooray more electric chargers. One thing I'll say about Biden is that he's probably the biggest rail fan we've had in the White House since the 19th century. Hopefully some of this money will find its way to long delayed and abandoned mass transit projects in my area. Maybe California will even get to complete its high speed rail project and prove all the naysays and doubters wrong.

That being said, all that electricity has to come from somewhere, so I'm going to refrain from celebrating too much until the reconciliation bill passes. And yes, I full acknowledge and am glad that switching to electric cars on net will still reduce carbon emissions even if we don't do anything about the power generation side. The thing is ... we need to do something about the power generation side to come anywhere close to meeting our CO2 emissions targets. Atmospheric chemistry doesn't care much for political scorekeeping. Also, the expanded electric car subsidies are part of the reconciliation package, and GM, Ford, and Stellantis (Chrysler) kind of sort of are depending on that passing to meet their goals in North America.

Also, there are all those pesky safety net programs in the reconciliation bill that would greatly alleviate human suffering and that the pandemic showed are kind of important.

So, I guess I'll be the one to fulfill GCU Sweet and Full of Grace's prophecy and be somewhat of a killjoy. Check my username though: They don't call us negadelphians for nothing!

I don't think my doubts are going to convince people not to vote for the Democrats in the midterms either. I don't know if its just me, but it seems like the media turned on Biden after he pulled out of Afghanistan, which is another unabashedly good thing that he did. That and the whole debacle over masks and the vaccines over the summer: It's sad that I get the feeling vaccine mandates might be costing Democrats amongst young people. Those are another unabashedly good thing that the Biden administration is doing.

Still, its definitely good that we're finally getting some infrastructure investment for the first time since the post-2008 recession stimulus. We have a lot of ground to make up from persistent underinvestment over the past 10 years.
posted by eagles123 at 8:28 PM on November 8, 2021 [4 favorites]


The "biggest since the depression" metric depends on how you count. Maybe it is in real dollars, but the country is a lot bigger now. The NYT says: "the package would bring federal infrastructure spending to about 1.25 percent of gross domestic product. In comparison, infrastructure spending under the New Deal ... [peaked] in 1933 at 2.96 percent"

It still deserves to be celebrated, but it's not really FDR scale.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:31 PM on November 8, 2021 [8 favorites]


Thank God. At least something can be done, given the continued existence of Manchin and Sinema.

…also, my autocorrect suggested manchineel instead of Manchin. I’ll let you Google that.

…because it’s accurate.
posted by aramaic at 8:39 PM on November 8, 2021 [7 favorites]


It's the biggest thing in my lifetime, and I'm mid-era Gen X.
posted by hippybear at 8:40 PM on November 8, 2021 [7 favorites]


It still deserves to be celebrated, but it's not really FDR scale.

To be fair they said the biggest thing since the great depression, not the biggest thing including the great depression.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:08 PM on November 8, 2021 [10 favorites]


I’ve missed Infrastructure Week. Excited this one actually did something.
posted by lilac girl at 9:16 PM on November 8, 2021 [5 favorites]


My feelings about Nancy Pelosi are often complicated. But I don’t believe that there’s another human being, living or dead, who could have wrangled this through.
posted by la glaneuse at 9:26 PM on November 8, 2021 [18 favorites]


The "biggest since the depression" metric depends on how you count

Counting by congressional majorities, it's off the charts.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:39 PM on November 8, 2021 [2 favorites]


CheeseDigestsAll: "it's not really FDR scale"

To be fair, neither are the Dem congressional majorities.

When I get irritated with Manchin, I try to remember that he is by far the most valuable Democratic senator, given his relatively left-leaning vote record compared to the state he represents and who he'd be replaced by. By that same tack, even if the BBB bill fails, it is absolutely gobsmacking that an infrastructure package of this size and scope passed (on *top* of the $2T COVID relief package) despite a single-digit margin in the House and a 50-50 Senate.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:43 PM on November 8, 2021 [19 favorites]


Counterpoint regarding Manchin: I was wrong about Joe Machin

An August piece in Harper’s noted that the West Virginia Democratic Party, which the senator played no small role in gutting, remains entirely under Manchin’s influence and control. It also mentions how Manchin leveraged his influence within the Senate to get plush government appointments for people close to him, including his wife.

From that Harper's article:

Strange as it may seem now, there was no reason why Pritt, though an unabashed liberal, should not have gone on to defeat the Republican candidate, an aged relict of state politics named Cecil Underwood. Democrats had enjoyed a near-total lock on statewide offices, including the governorship, since the days of FDR, whose picture still hung in working-class households next to that of John F. Kennedy. The longtime West Virginia senator Jennings Randolph had been a steadfast champion of civil rights and environmental protections. Manchin’s own uncle, A. James Manchin, had aggressively promoted civil rights as a delegate in the state legislature back in the Forties. But despite endorsements from the UMWA and Bill Clinton, who would easily carry the state in that year’s presidential race, Pritt lost the gubernatorial election by six points. A longtime NRA member, Pritt was nonetheless smeared by Republicans as opposing gun rights. To this day, she believes that Manchin had a lot to do with her defeat, exercising revenge for his loss in the primary. “It’s the only time he ever lost, and to a woman!” she told me. Despite signing a written pledge to the contrary, Manchin announced weeks before the general election that he could not support her, citing her lack of “integrity and character.” Pritt believes Manchin was behind Democrats for Underwood, a group powered by business interests fearful of Pritt’s liberal agenda. Commentators at the time agreed that the splinter group’s success in splitting the Democratic vote was key to the Republicans’ victory.

Machin may be the only Democrat capable of getting elected in a place like West Virginia today, but how much of that was his doing?
posted by eagles123 at 10:04 PM on November 8, 2021 [19 favorites]


Is there anything in the bill to protect the power grid from another Carrington Event?
posted by Sophont at 12:19 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]


honestly I think my favourite part of this is that cryptocurrency is now treated as an investment asset and is subject to IRS reporting, including "know your customer" and anti-money laundering checks. That'll be fun.
posted by Merus at 3:06 AM on November 9, 2021 [28 favorites]


The part about mandatory radio beacons to make pedestrians and cyclists visible to self-driving cars is a bit dystopian. It's like jaywalking reinvented for the 21st century.
posted by acb at 3:15 AM on November 9, 2021 [9 favorites]


Well, the other party couldn't do this. This is what the other party claims to be able to do, but has never done. It s a whole party made up of Manchins (at best).
posted by eustatic at 3:42 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]


Okay, so what happens next? I thought linking physical infrastructure spending with "human" infrastructure--first in the same bill and then as two separate bills to be passed in parallel--was the compromise. In order to get the physical infrastructure spending centrists wanted, they'd have to accept the social spending that progressives wanted, and in return progressives would quietly back down from their initial demands and get behind a much smaller social spending package which had the full support of President Biden.

Is this written promise the least bit binding? What incentive is there for the BBB to be passed at all, let alone passed in it's already heavily diminished form?

Democrats and the White House have frequently described the BBB as a "once in a generation opportunity" to do things like provide paid leave and childcare, free community college, expand medicare, make the child tax credit permanent, restore the social safety net, and combat climate change. What happens if in the coming weeks, none of those things happen? Are we just supposed to wait yet another generation for the stars to align?

This infrastructure bill is a big fucking deal and worth celebrating, but the work is only half done and I'm very nervous that there's now very little incentive for some members of Congress (*cough* Manchin *cough*) to have any interest in finishing the deal.

I think the reason Democratic "wins" aren't celebrated is because they always seem to come in this half-finished state and are always the victims of seemingly unnecessary last-minute compromises and sausage-making made to satisfy one or two individuals within the party. And heaven forbid, if the next few weeks produce a BBB that doesn't even make the child tax credit permanent or severely cripples it with onerous requirements, you can feel free to quote me.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:03 AM on November 9, 2021 [14 favorites]


And before anyone points out the necessity of getting Joe Manchin's or Kyrsten Sinema's votes in order to pass anything at all--that may be true, but it's not what I mean by "unnecessary last-minute compromises".

Democrats and President Biden had already spent several months touting the benefits of the BBB before Joe Manchin started voicing his vague objections to the bill, and for a long time Kyrsten Sinema refused to even publicly state what her opposition was.

Whether or not the current BBB framework was all that we could have ever hoped to get out of this Democratic majority, the optics make it seem like we were on track to have a much more ambitious program and then those two Senators derailed it at the last minute.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:49 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]


Normally I'm very much on Team Doom, but this bill puts billions to cleaning up the pipes putting lead into the water. It might not be enough, it might not save the world, but it's going to save lives, it's going to result in healthier children. I'm happy about car chargers and broadband and all, yeah...but access to clean water? After what we've seen in Flint? After what we know is coming in other communities across the country as aging pipes go bad? This is a good, good start.
posted by mittens at 5:10 AM on November 9, 2021 [7 favorites]


This infrastructure bill is a big fucking deal and worth celebrating, but the work is only half done and I'm very nervous that there's now very little incentive for some members of Congress (*cough* Manchin *cough*) to have any interest in finishing the deal.

Yep. I'll tell anyone who will listen about how great the clean water and rail in the bipartisan bill are, but the fact is that the programs in BBB poll at like a zillion percent across all demographics, and yet there is zero messaging from Democrats about them except hand-wringing over how Republicans will spin the spending.

Fuck that. Tell everyone about the great stuff you're doing for them as loudly as possible at every opportunity. The fact that you're not hearing every day about the excellent provisions of both BIF and potential BBB is a practically-criminal failure of the Democratic party's ability to work the media.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:36 AM on November 9, 2021 [18 favorites]


Metafilter: Normally I'm very much on Team Doom.
posted by Melismata at 5:58 AM on November 9, 2021 [11 favorites]


Okay, so what happens next?

Interested parties peruse the bill and see how to fare la carriera. For the curious, here's the full text.
posted by BWA at 6:09 AM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]


This infrastructure bill is a big fucking deal and worth celebrating, but the work is only half done and I'm very nervous that there's now very little incentive for some members of Congress (*cough* Manchin *cough*) to have any interest in finishing the deal.

This, this, this, in thirty-foot letters of fire atop the West Virginia countryside.

The Squad[tm] did not vote against the bipartisan bill (for which they are currently drowning in bile spewed by centrists) because they opposed what it is in it. They voted against the bipartisan bill because passing the bipartisan bill first effectively kills the BBB.

The BBB is already a fraction of what it could have been, being actively whittled down by the day, and now we will get either a fraction of that as the passed reconciliation bill in the BEST-CASE SCENARIO, or Manchin or Sinema will shake their heads ruefully as they vote 'no' and declare, "I'm sorry, I was prepared to vote 'yes' on this, but (provision X of it that is largely inconsequential) is simply too much for my heart to bear" and a big chunk of the media will dutifully report on How Progressives Pushed Congress Too Far.

The bipartisan bill has common-sense, highly beneficial provisions in it, enough so to lure 13 Republican Congresspeople into voting for it to ensure that it passed (which has gotten them branded as Traitors who will be actively primaried next year for their surrender to International Communism by the Trumpoid right). But flip that around. What could be beneficial enough about the bipartisan bill to the Republican Party that they would allow it to pass, when sitting idly and watching it fail due to Democratic desertions was an option? (And do not say 'the basic humanity of those Congresspeople,' when they keep company with a couple of hundred others whose response to 'will you vote for cleaner water for children and safer roads for everyone?' was 'eff those kids.')

Time will tell on the degree of how Pyrrhic this victory may be. I honestly do hope to be surprised, but I'm not betting little Jimmy's college fund on that outcome.
posted by delfin at 6:27 AM on November 9, 2021 [17 favorites]


Teddy Roosevelt: the Square Deal

FDR: the New Deal

Biden: the Big F’ing Deal
posted by darkstar at 6:57 AM on November 9, 2021 [7 favorites]


Eponyhooray!

I've been coming to grips with the mostly negative impact my chosen career, highway engineer, has had on the outcome of cities as a whole, but it's something I got into in college thinking that A) civil engineering has a net benefit effect to society and B) it's supposed to be recession proof since infrastructure spending is supposed to be bipartisan.

I kept my job through the '08 downturn, but my god B has had me worried for the past 5 years.

Trying to fix A bit by bit.
posted by hwyengr at 7:00 AM on November 9, 2021 [5 favorites]


Teddy Roosevelt: the Square Deal
FDR: the New Deal
Biden: the Big F’ing Deal


Instead of the Green New Deal branding they should've gone with the Fair Deal. Is it fair for billionaires to pay little or no taxes while you pay your share? No, it's not fair.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:36 AM on November 9, 2021 [3 favorites]


Haven't been following but did they or did they not bring back the WPA? I wanna get paid to paint this ugly concrete country.
posted by GoblinHoney at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2021 [7 favorites]


The Squad[tm] did not vote against the bipartisan bill (for which they are currently drowning in bile spewed by centrists) because they opposed what it is in it. They voted against the bipartisan bill because passing the bipartisan bill first effectively kills the BBB.

This may be technically true, but they're losing the messaging. Their objection, as principled as they intend it to be, is coming off as a "why wasn't I consulted" sort of whine (WaPo):
Among the Squad's grievances is the fact its members were not invited to speak directly with Biden throughout the infrastructure negotiation process, said three Democratic staffers familiar with the process and a Democratic lawmaker.

Squad members were also dismayed they did not get to review the final statement issued by CPC Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) on Friday night stating her caucus agreed to support the infrastructure package and the House rule advancing Democrats' larger health care, child care and climate change package, according to one of the Democratic aides and a Democratic operative familiar with negotiations.
There's a way to spin the messaging to talk about how the positives of the bill will help their constituents. They can point out that there was bipartisan support, and they can say they can't wait to work across party lines in the same way to pass the BBB. But no, they're making noise about how they lost and (as usual for Democrats) snatching premature defeat from the jaws of victory. They're so caught up in the way they want politics to work they're failing to take any advantage of how things actually get done right now.
posted by fedward at 8:14 AM on November 9, 2021 [4 favorites]


Is there anything in the bill to protect the power grid from another Carrington Event?

Nothing specific, but lots of grant money to harden the grid generally. Section 40101 has $5B for power line projects that reduce wildfire risk or the very general "likelihood and consequences of disruptive events." 40102 is $1B of R&D on that. 40125 is $250M of research into grid cybersecurity and an "all-hazards" risk assessment. It's not hard to protect against the most destructive effects of something like that (destroyed transformers due to core saturation), so hopefully some of this grant money goes towards it.

The part about mandatory radio beacons to make pedestrians and cyclists visible to self-driving cars...

The what now? There's a lot of things about pedestrians and cyclists in there, but I don't see anything remotely like that. Section 11504 asks for a report on impacts of self-driving cars, but in a general way (vehicle miles, traffic patterns, mobility).
posted by netowl at 9:46 AM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]




Their objection, as principled as they intend it to be, is coming off as a "why wasn't I consulted" sort of whine (WaPo)

Your entire argument is based on what was anonymously said to the Washington Post reporter by "three Democratic staffers familiar with the process and a Democratic lawmaker".

Maybe you should let The Squad speak for themselves before you criticize them for how they're handling things.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:09 PM on November 9, 2021 [2 favorites]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
The cost to replace every lead pipe in the United States is $45-60 billion.

BIF only gives $15b. Without BBB, many communities historically denied clean water will continue to be denied.

Build Back Better has lead $ for disadvantaged communities. We must keep pushing for BBB.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
I want to protect our party from the disappointment and collapse in turnout from communities like mine that occurs when we tell them we did things we didn’t do.

We shouldn’t promise all lead pipes will be fixed if that is not the case. Some will, most won’t. We must push for BBB
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:21 PM on November 9, 2021 [15 favorites]


What’s Next for the Infrastructure Program: The battle shifts to implementation, where success will be won or lost.
A bill negotiated between non-infrastructure experts and Republicans, which leaned toward Republican ideas on spending policy and gave in to them completely on tax policy, is now being touted as the greatest advancement in public works in modern history. The sclerotic nature of Congress allows for that to be true and also not much of a statement about the policy. Whether this bill is a worthy investment in our future, or a dream for consultants and corporate contractors, the benefits of which are lost on the average citizen, now depends entirely on implementation.

Early returns are not encouraging.
[. . .]

There are other minor annoyances in the bill, like a rural ferries program designed only for the vote of Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, and a mine reclamation project similarly designed for Joe Manchin. A large-scale privatization effort was mercifully cut at the last minute, but the management consultant industry won a lucrative mandate to write up reports on large-scale transportation projects. But an infrastructure bill can be expected to have some pork. What matters is if the whole enterprise is carried off well.

Projects for bridges, transit, ports, airports, electricity substations, and more that funnel money to outside consultants run the risk of producing a few new millionaires but not many other benefits. Bottom line: If the infrastructure money is effectively stolen, you won’t have a successful investment.

Far too little attention gets paid to what happens after a bill becomes law. It will make the difference on whether the Biden administration will be seen as meeting its promises or just making claims that don’t become reality. The only thing worse than promising advancements and failing to deliver is claiming that you did deliver, without follow-up. Biden can make the IIJA work, but it will take diligence and effort. We’ll be watching.
posted by Glegrinof the Pig-Man at 1:33 PM on November 9, 2021 [7 favorites]


on the beacons

That is overblown extrapolation, but B2V is also the kind of dumb idea that self-driving car boosters go for.
posted by joeyh at 2:06 PM on November 9, 2021 [4 favorites]


Don't forget the mandatory breathalyzers in new cars just in time for the 2024 elections:
As a result, within three years, new cars will have to be fitted with advanced drunk driving detection systems. NHTSA and an industry consortium (the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety) have worked with a Swedish sensor company called Sensor to develop a new alcohol breath sensor.
posted by Pyry at 4:42 PM on November 9, 2021 [1 favorite]


New York Times: House Republicans Who Backed Infrastructure Bill Face Vicious Backlash. "The 13 Republican lawmakers who broke with their party to support a $1 trillion bipartisan public works bill have drawn anger and threats from their colleagues and constituents."
posted by russilwvong at 5:07 PM on November 10, 2021


Golly, who could have seen this coming?

Axios: Manchin may delay Biden social spending plan over inflation
Progressives have long worried that after centrists got their $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, they'd find excuses not to move on the budget reconciliation package.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:37 AM on November 11, 2021 [2 favorites]


I've been so worried, ever since the word "inflation" made its way back into the headlines. You always know something bad is coming, when major media outlets start throwing the word around. "Oh no, prices are up some fraction of a percent, we'd better fire a few million workers to calm down this raging economy!" As though we weren't expecting a bit of inflation after the pandemic recession? As though that wouldn't be a sign of recovery? But no. Now it's "red-hot inflation" pushing Manchin to fight a "massive tax-and-spending plan."

Anyway, as a restorative after having to hear about how inflation will murder us all in our sleep, here's Stephanie Kelton with a more considered view: "The Bright Side of Higher Inflation."
posted by mittens at 5:21 AM on November 11, 2021


The NYT goes deep on how her constituents feel about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's vote against the infrastructure bill: Ocasio-Cortez Isn’t Wavering. Are New Yorkers on Her Side? In short, opinions vary:
“Right mind-set,” said Emmet Allen, 27, the constituent who stood outside the Buhre Avenue station in Pelham Bay. “But wrong execution.”

“She is saying she is voting for her constituents,” said Jennifer Shannon, 51, who helps run a civic group in College Point, Queens, and who has voted for Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. “I’m not saying they don’t all care about the environment, but I think people in her district are tired of the conditions of our streets and our subways.”

“All I’ve heard across the district has been support for the decision that she made,” said Assemblyman Zohran Kwame Mamdani, a democratic socialist who represents one of the most left-leaning neighborhoods in the district. “A lot of that is based on the fact that she was elected on the promise of fighting for more than the crumbs we’ve been told to accept.”
I think we can assume this guy doesn't agree with her politics at all, though:
“Ideology sometimes has to go out the window when it comes to bringing home the bacon,” said Thomas J. Grech, the chief executive of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, who said he has never been able to successfully schedule a meeting with the congresswoman, as he does with her peers.
I'm amused the Times sought comment from a Chamber of Commerce executive. The Chamber of Commerce isn't really her base. It would be surprising if he hadn't been negative.
posted by fedward at 7:35 AM on November 12, 2021 [3 favorites]


Well, it's going to be signed tomorrow. Major success that will affect lives across the country.

Where's the BBB bill?
posted by hippybear at 9:47 PM on November 14, 2021 [1 favorite]


The BBB bill is held up in limbo by "moderate Democrats" (whatever that means) who say they won't support it until the CBO analysis is done and within whatever limit (I'm not sure if the moderates in question all have the same limit in mind and I'm too exhausted to try to find out). TNR's Jason Linkins (disclosure: friend of mine) has a piece about how the BBB shouldn't be declared fully dead just yet and Jacobin has a thing on how the CBO can pretty much say whatever it wants anyway. But you may also be too exhausted to read everything.
posted by fedward at 10:47 AM on November 15, 2021 [1 favorite]


The question was mostly rhetorical, but I appreciate your links.

The plan was they move together. They aren't. I suspect the truly revolutionary one is now dead. But we'll see.
posted by hippybear at 8:40 PM on November 15, 2021 [1 favorite]


I had some really high hopes and "surly this"es going into this. The combination of Trump and the pandemic seemed like a Depression-level calamity and having witnessed the very fabric of our society get torn to threads, it really seemed like we were on the cusp of a new era of public policy and an expanded social safety net.

...but nope! The status quo wins again. Some old man in West Virginia doesn't want people to depend on the government, and a handful of "centrists" have concerns about spending. And that's enough to delay if not derail all the empathy and compassion we supposedly gained from having watched society come close to unraveling.

The infrastructure investment is badly needed, and maybe we'll still get something out of BBB, but it's clear that despite all the talk about going big and all the books about FDR that Biden was not-so-candidly letting people know he was reading, we're still going to let ourselves get hung up on CBO scores and payfors.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 5:13 AM on November 16, 2021 [1 favorite]


BBB just cleared the house.

Fingers crossed that Manchin and Sinema don't wreck it in the Senate.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:02 AM on November 19, 2021 [2 favorites]


And now it's December 2 and BBB still isn't anywhere close to clearing the Senate. Manchin is still calling for a 'pause' on BBB--this time including omicron in his neverending list of petty excuses. He also won't commit to extending the wildly successful child tax credit. And he's getting praise from Mitch McConnell and lots of donations from conservative doners.

So tell me again why allowing a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal WITHOUT first passing the BBB (or even allowing them to be separated in the first place) is a good idea?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:15 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]


> So tell me again why allowing a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal WITHOUT first passing the BBB (or even allowing them to be separated in the first place) is a good idea?

Because the counterfactual is the same assholes who are not going to vote for the BBB would have also not voted for the combined bill. Half a loaf is still half a loaf, even if we really need a dozen loaves.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:06 AM on December 2, 2021 [2 favorites]


No. It's not half a loaf. It's a tiny fraction of a loaf. BBB was already scaled back to align with President Biden's plan. Compromises were already made. And the Child Tax Credit *already exists* and will most likely be limited in scope if it's even continued at all.

And now Manchin's hinting that he might not support funding the entire government unless the vaccine mandate for employers is dropped. Are we also supposed to celebrate the inevitable deal that's cut to resolve this impasse?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:59 AM on December 2, 2021


> No. It's not half a loaf. It's a tiny fraction of a loaf.

Half a loaf is proverbial, and wasn't meant to quantify the exact ratio of the size of BIF to the size requested by Biden.

> Are we also supposed to celebrate the inevitable deal that's cut to resolve this impasse?

No, but there seems to be some room between celebrating an inventing a counterfactual timeline in which it was possible to get more from the hostage takers.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:36 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]


« Older Human beings and human givers   |   Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments