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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.55 minutes to read.

“The challenge we face right now is that there is a standoff with some of our colleagues who have decided to hold the infrastructure bill hostage for months, or kill it altogether, if they don’t get what they want in the next bill — a largely undefined $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. While we have concerns about the level of spending and potential revenue raisers, we are open to immediate consideration of that package.

But we are firmly opposed to holding the president’s infrastructure legislation hostage to reconciliation, risking its passage and the bipartisan support behind it.

We can walk and chew gum, just as the Senate did. We can pass the infrastructure measure now, and then quickly consider reconciliation and the policies from climate to health care to universal pre-K that we believe are critical.

Across this country, far too many communities are struggling with crumbling roads and structurally unsound bridges, outrageous congestion, lead-coated pipes and no broadband access. You don’t hold up a major priority of the country, and millions of jobs, as some form of leverage. The infrastructure bill is not a political football…

This infrastructure bill was crafted the way most of us imagine legislation should be developed: with a bipartisan group of legislators in the House and Senate working together, negotiating and finding common ground. That’s what governing is about, and America is thirsty for it, especially after the past four years. The infrastructure bill has broad support — by both the Chamber of Commerce and organized labor, including the AFL-CIO and local building trades. Now, we are urging House leadership and the president to move this trillion-dollar, once-in-a-century measure through the House quickly, sign the bill, and get shovels in the ground and people to work.”

The writers are Democratic members of the House of Representatives from Georgia, Hawaii, California, Texas, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon. (Published in the Washington Post - $)

“As Pelosi threads her way between nine obstreperous moderate Democrats insisting on a vote on infrastructure first and more than 100 progressives who won’t vote for that without first approving the budget plan with the popular health-care measures, no one should lose track of the Democrats’ end game. Ultimately, they will want to run on a restored economy (attributable to Biden’s agenda, naturally), a pandemic that’s under control and the duo of health-care goodies — cheaper prescription drugs and better coverage for dental, vision and hearing care for seniors. The economy and the pandemic are not entirely within Democrats’ control, but the health-care items are. And make no mistake: Biden and Pelosi have no intention of dropping the ball on those.”

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post ($)

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.60 minutes to read.

“A showdown this week pits House progressives, who want Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stick to her guns and keep the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill off the floor until Team Biden’s $3.5 trillion “human infrastructure” bill gets passed, against moderates who say they won’t support the massive measure unless the smaller bill becomes law first.

Let’s hope the moderates stick to their principles.

They’re right to stand up to Pelosi. Not only is a progressive, partisan spending spree bad for a recovering economy; voting for it, whenever it comes up, means political suicide in swing districts come next year’s midterms…

Another reason for moderates to be wary: President Joe Biden’s plummeting approval ratings, down 10 points in a month — and not just because of his Afghanistan debacle. The public is souring on a prez whose words defy reality across the board, from the economy to border security. His rosy predictions of prosperity from his over-the-top spending plan deserve no more trust than his claims about having planned for all Afghan contingencies.

Americans struggling to get back to normalcy can’t afford the big-government giveaways in the $3.5 trillion bill — and its tax hikes will only slam an economy still stuck in its own struggles.”

Editorial Board, New York Post

“With the House back in town, the debate for Democrats is which colossal plan they should pass first: President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package? Or Bernie Sanders’s $3.5 trillion budget outline?…

Nine Democrats, including several from swing districts, say the infrastructure bill should be passed before any budget vote is taken, and so far they have held their ground…

The precedent here is ObamaCare. Remember Bart Stupak ? He was the Democrat from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and a leader in the congressional Pro-Life Caucus, who threatened to defeat the bill unless it barred federal funds from going to abortions. In the end… Mr. Stupak accepted a fig leaf of an executive order. He retired rather than face almost certain defeat in 2010, a year the GOP gained 63 seats.

A replay is the likeliest outcome this week and on the budget…

Mrs. Pelosi knows that Democrats are likely to lose the House in 2022. Midterm elections are rarely kind to the sitting President’s party, even when he hasn’t bungled a military evacuation of Afghanistan. Mrs. Pelosi’s goal is to pass historic legislation to cement Democratic additions to the entitlement state. She’ll almost surely retire if Democrats lose the House. The left gets what it wants, Mrs. Pelosi goes down as a progressive hero, and the centrist Democrats get used as political cannon fodder.”

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal