Democrats ‘Thank God’ for Infrastructure Victory After State Election Warnings | Biden administration
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Voters in Virginia and New Jersey this week issued a serious warning to Democrats, key players in the Biden administration and Congress said on Sunday: the party had to get things done or it will face disaster in the election. midterm next year.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said “we thank God” something was done on Friday night: a $ 1 billion infrastructure deal sent to Joe Biden’s office by the House.
Three days after Democrats lost a gubernatorial race in one state, Biden won comfortably and barely held on in the other, centrists and progressives in the House managed to come together, with a certain Republican support.
Biden hailed a “monumental step forward” and a “blue collar plan to rebuild America”. He also said that “the only message that came” from voters in Virginia and New Jersey was, “Do something.”
Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, echoed his boss, telling NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that the American people “wanted to see more action in Washington.” They wanted things to go faster, and three days later Congress responded.
But Democrats have returned to the second half of the president’s national agenda, the 10-year, $ 1.75 billion Build Back Better program to strengthen health care and social services and seek to mitigate the impact. of the climate crisis.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Granholm said, “I think the Democrats in the House have gotten the message very loud and clear. Go through the bill and go through the second part as well, because they contain things that are of interest to ordinary people. “
Referring to the state she once ruled, she said: “Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer used the phrase ‘Fix the bloody roads’. And that is what this bill does. It fixes the bloody roads. He’s fixing bridges. It delivers broadband to real people. It repairs your homes so that they don’t waste energy.
She also said that the infrastructure bill not help with childcare and other “costs of living for real people”. This, Granholm said, is the work of Build Back Better, which is now awaiting analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, a measure demanded by centrists.
New Jersey centrist Josh Gottheimer told CNN he and his allies wanted to make sure the bill was “fiscally responsible and paid.” He said he was confident it would pass, but ducked when asked repeatedly if his group would vote no if the CBO’s analysis differed from the White House and Congress estimates.
In New Jersey this week, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy won by a surprisingly narrow margin. Taking a page from Donald Trump’s playbook, Republican Jack Ciattarelli refused to give in.
In Virginia, Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, suffered a devastating defeat to Glenn Youngkin, a businessman who kept Trump at bay while campaigning on cultural war issues, including the place of race in the world. ‘education.
When asked if Youngkin could have been beaten if major legislation had been passed in Washington before election day, Mark Warner, a Democratic Senator from Virginia, told CNN: “I wish the House had moved. earlier.”
Warner also said voters need to know what’s in Biden bills, rather than what they cost. The cost of bills is regularly condemned by Republicans – and by Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who remains a major obstacle in the Senate.
White House adviser Cedric Richmond told Fox News Sunday that Manchin was “a lot more conservative and everyone sees it, but he has been a willing partner to come to the table with a constructive dialogue. And we’re confident in the direction we’ll take with our Build Back Better framework. We are optimistic, we will get there. And the truth is, we have to do it. “
Richmond also rejected Republicans’ claims that government spending would increase inflation. Granholm said the administration viewed current inflation as “transient”.
Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland and moderate Republican with his own presidential ambitions, told CNN Biden he had “almost snatched defeat from the clutches of victory” by engaging in internal wrangling.
The infrastructure bill “should have been a landslide victory in August,” Hogan said. “And I think [Biden] should not have been distracted by the progressives in the House. I think it was bad for Joe Biden. I think it was reflected in the election results because I think they misinterpreted the mandate.
“You know Joe Biden won a very close election by winning swing voters and they’re not where the progressive caucus is, I can assure you, and the vast majority of Americans are not for the second draft. of law.”
Progressives claim the opposite. In tweets on Saturday, Pramila Jayapal, a progressive Washington state leader, highlighted the news from the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow and said: “This is EXACTLY why we need the Build Back Better Act. . We will take climate action – for our communities, future generations and our planet. “
She also retweeted Reverend William Barber, the leader of the Poor Campaign. He noted: “My prayer is that Congress will keep its word and vote for the adoption of Build Back Better, because otherwise this political betrayal will be a political crime and an attack on integrity.”
Such a failure, said Barber, “would abandon more than 140 million poor and low-income people who make up 43% of the nation and 30% of the electoral population.”
This, he said, “could divide the Democratic Party in a way that could be irreparable.”
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