Democratic Party Seems Determined to Allow the Perfect to be the Enemy of the Good

Fine.
As long as they do it BEFORE the debt ceiling comes up again! Pass them both, I would love to see that, I would like to see the second bill be larger than it will likely turn out to be. But there is very short time to bring it all together before the debt ceiling sidetracks the efforts again.

Primary the shit out of Sinema and Manchin, do whatever it takes. Put media targets on their backs. Reduce the Three point five to Two point two-- but pass that thing!! then debt ceiling and mid-terms. But get two bills passed NOW!!

Okay. You seem to be in the know… where can I read about this stuff?

The only thing on Mr. Biden’s website I can find about climate is this sole paragraph,

When President Biden thinks about climate change, he thinks jobs. To position the U.S. to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice, the President’s plan would create good-paying, union jobs , establish an energy efficiency and clean energy standard , expand and extend clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits , and enlist a new Civilian Climate Corps.

CBS has a webpage where they try to gather all the known details of the reconciliation bill. The entire climate change section reads,

Combating climate change and slowing the rate at which Earth warms will mean transitioning away from fossil fuels, the major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

One provision that Manchin has objected to is the $150 billion “clean electricity performance program,” which would pay utility companies that increase their renewable energy supplies by 4% per year. Companies that do not hit this benchmark would face financial penalties. The bill also provides significant funding for forest management and other wildfire control measures.

There are also measures to incentivize the buying of electric vehicles and the construction of charging stations; consumer rebates to homeowners who weatherfit their houses; and financial penalties for oil and gas producers for methane leaks, among other things.

The first link has this to add, of relevance:

Part of the proposed budget would incentivize green technology be made in the U.S. […] The budget bill also contains measures that would […] give tax credits to companies building sources of clean energy; […] help farmers reduce their carbon footprint; and invest in climate research.

Is that enough detail for you to endorse the legislation? To deride legislators that haven’t come out in support of the bill? It isn’t enough for me to even form an opinion. Without more details I couldn’t even begin to research how effective this bill might be towards an emissions milestone or anything, really. The only number is the $150 billion for which the Democrats don’t have their own ducks in a row, making that particular provision a dead note for the time being. I don’t know the amount of the tax credits or if they are for manufacturers vs consumers or what. No mention of a civilian climate corps by CBS. &etc.

The forest management and wildfire control provisions might get some Republican support if spun off into its own legislation, depending on the details, which I don’t have.

~Max

I don’t see how McConnell’s statement represents him blinking. He has three goals:

  1. He wants the Democrats to pass the bill raising the debt ceiling on their own, so he can say that it’s the Democrats increasing the US national debt.
  2. He wants the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework bill passed, so he can claim that Republicans are helping America by making sure that needed repairs and improvements to America’s roads and bridges will happen.
  3. He wants the social spending bill not to pass, or at least to be gutted.

Democrats have been saying they can’t pass the debt ceiling bill through reconciliation because of time constraints. McConnell’s just offered them time and eliminated that excuse.

During the next two months, expect to see pressure on the House to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, and accusations that Democrats are hurting America by holding that bill hostage.

The longer the social spending bill isn’t passed, the less likely that it will be passed. And in two months, if nothing has changed, McConnell will offer another extension while highlighting both Democratic legislative incompetence and the bloated spending contained in that bill.

Like with the Covid vaccines, this is one area where I have to yield to the experts. And people I respect for whom global warming is their big issue are saying this may be the best we can do in a reconciliation bill, rather than a regulatory bill which would have to pass via regular order (i.e. can be filibustered).

Hastening the day when we’re all driving electric vehicles is a necessary thing, as is getting the utilities to increase their use of renewable energy. Methane leaks are also a big deal: we don’t put nearly as much methane into the atmosphere as we do carbon, but per unit, it has a much greater contribution to global warming. As it is, carbon’s still the big thing, but minimizing the methane that gets into the atmosphere is low-hanging fruit that can make a nontrivial difference.

Whether what’s in this bill is enough, I can’t say. I’m certainly worried that it’s not. But it still contains a pile of stuff that’s part of the solution if there’s going to be a solution. Passing the climate change portion of the reconciliation bill is immeasurably preferable to not passing it.

I disagree with many of your assumptions here. Re: #1, he wants the Democrats to be forced to put a specific number on the debt limit, rather than just suspend the limit (which is the usual process), to use in political attacks. For #2 and 3, I think McConnell wants them both to fail, so he can call the Democrats feckless and also avoid any popular new programs.

I don’t see how more time makes it less likely the social spending will pass - I think the opposite is true. They need time to negotiate, which they weren’t doing until about a week ago. Now they’re negotiating. And they have the rest of October, if not longer.

As for the debt limit, McConnell just showed he’s not willing to go to the mat. I don’t think he’ll go to the mat in Dec either. If the Democrats hold firm again, citing precedent and continuing to ask the Republicans to do what is considered completely normal (suspend the debt limit without filibuster), I expect he’ll back down again.

McConnell also has a vested interest in ensuring that the US does not default. I have little doubt that he’s getting a lot of pressure from wealthy conservative/republican party donor class to avoid a default because it would cause an almost immediate spike in inflation, interest rates and devaluation of the USD.

I don’t claim to be inside Mitch’s head, so I don’t know what his goals are. But somehow I doubt these are them.

  1. He could have said that anyway just by not filibustering the Dems’ debt ceiling increase bill. Not that that will make much difference.
  2. (3 actually, FU Discourse) It’ll certainly be way smaller than Biden’s original ask, due to Manchinema, regardless of what Mitch does.
  3. (2) Yeah, that’ll pass, but it sounds like the entire House GOP Caucus is going to vote against it, so chances are most of the Senate GOPers will too. He can claim whatever he wants, but even with a wired-for-Republicans media discourse, it’s not going to be very convincing.

But this IS a big favor to the Dems. If the rest of the caucus can wrap up its negotiations with Manchinema in 4-5 weeks, they can increase the debt ceiling as part of the reconciliation bill, and have time to spare to deal with the inevitable procedural shit that the Repubs will throw in the bill’s path. And if the negotiations take longer than that, Sinemanchin probably aren’t negotiating in good faith anyway, and there’s nothing to be done about that.

It’s pretty clear that McConnell wants the Democrats to pass the debt ceiling increase through reconciliation. That was the first line of his statement. But I do agree with you that McConnell wants the Democrats to commit to a debt ceiling figure, rather than simply suspending the debt ceiling. There’s this from CNBC:

Democrats would also commit to raising — instead of suspending — the debt limit through a reconciliation bill. Suspensions allow the government to float new debt for a certain period of time instead of capping it at a certain dollar figure.

Politicians often prefer to suspend because it looks better ahead of elections.

Democrats would likely have to hike the ceiling to an enormous sum at or north of $30 trillion. And while both Republicans and Democrats are responsible for the total debt, raising the limit makes Democrats vulnerable to accusations of reckless, debt-financed spending in the 2022 midterms.
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/06/mitch-mcconnell-may-offer-short-term-debt-ceiling-extension-following-pressure-from-biden.html

McConnell voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework bill so I presume he wants it passed. I don’t understand all of his political machinations, but I’m sure he could have avoided voting for it if he didn’t want to be associated with it. Of course, it’s a can’t-lose situation for him: if the BIF passes, it’s a bill he wanted; if the BIF fails, it’s because the Democrats are a bunch of incompetent clowns who couldn’t get their act together.

As for giving away time on both the debt ceiling and the social spending bill, I’m sure that McConnell will be willing to give the Democrats another 13 months to argue amongst themselves without accomplishing anything.

We’ll see what happens. I expect both spending bills to pass this month. If they pass, then I think I was right about that. And we’ll see what happens in Dec with the debt limit. I think McConnell caved because his corporate handlers were freaking out about the debt limit, and because he’s afraid the Democrats will eliminate the filibuster for this purpose. And I think he’ll do it again in Dec.

The Democrats really need to stop worrying about this. They’ll be tarred as Tax&Spend CommieNazis no matter what they do, that’s just the GOP’s go-to bullshit.

The Dems need to realize that anyone who would fall for this is already not going to vote Democratic.

The biggest thing they need to do is show people that a Democratic government can make an actual difference in their lives prior to the 2022 mid-term elections. If they can’t do that, that is something which will actually affect people who might be inclined to vote Democratic.

They need to suck it up and do whatever they have to do to pass some actual legislation.

Well sure. But they can only use reconciliation once or twice in a year, and Mitch really wants the Dems to use up one reconciliation on the debt ceiling, which would mean they couldn’t use it to pass other stuff.

It’s a long way to the midterms, when it comes to something like this sticking in most voters’ minds. There’ll be a metric ton of other bullshit scandals between now and this time next year.

They should just raise the debt limit to 999 octillion dollars. When the Fox News splutters in rage about this, people would just be cracking up.

I’m actually having a hard time understanding this. My basic understanding is that both chambers of Congress have to pass a budget resolution act, which is not a law so it doesn’t go to the President for sign-off. The budget resolution act entreats HOR committees to work on up to three bills; the committees’ work is then assembled by the House Budget Committee who prepares the final bill; and that final bill is presented to first the House and then the Senate under the reconciliation process where both chambers are limited in their ability to amend the bill, and the Senate is not allowed to filibuster. The three bills the budget resolution act can support are one each on revenue, spending, and raising the deficit limit, and if a bill covers more than one of those (usually revenue and spending are combined) then it doesn’t allow another bill for those areas already covered. Also, only one budget resolution act can be passed per fiscal year.

I thought the budget resolution act was passed back in August to support the $3.5 trillion social spending bill, and that covered fiscal year 2022 - the one the US government has just entered. However, obviously a) I’ve got that wrong, or b) something else I don’t know about is going on, because McConnell still wants the Democrats to pass the bill raising the debt ceiling through reconciliation.

If a budget reconciliation act for FY2022 is still available, why haven’t the Democrats already used that to take care of the debt limit by passing an act that would allow for two reconciliation bills, one for revenue and spending, and one for raising the deficit limit? Is it because they don’t have enough details to draft an acceptable act? I can kind of understand McConnell wanting to force the Democrats to raise the deficit limit through a reconciliation bill, even though I think it’s silly. He’s playing oppositional politics, and trying to differentiate the Republican Party from the high-deficit Democrats (and yes, I’m aware of high-deficit Republican spending, so no need to mention it). But why are the Democrats playing his game. They’re trying to pass a massive spending bill somewhere between $1.5 trillion and $3.5 trillion. That’s going to send out a much louder message about undertaking debt than a bill raising the deficit ceiling. Why aren’t the Democrats raising the deficit ceiling through a reconciliation bill and just making it yesterday’s news? Are they that worried about giving the Republicans some ammunition for partisan sniping?

Also, I think the Democrats want the social spending bill to go through the reconciliation process, as it will limit parliamentary shenanigans. So it’s not like they’re hoping to save a budget resolution act in case one is needed later.

If I were you I would be more worried about whether the bill will do as advertised, than whether what is advertised is enough (assuming experts say the broad proposals could help - they probably don’t have the details, either). Specifically, I would be concerned about regulatory capture in the legislative process.

~Max

nvmd wrong thread

It was passed in September and for reasons unknown failed to include the necessary language that would allow for reconciliation legislation affecting the debt limit.

It is theoretically possible to revise the budget resolution for FY2022 to pass a second reconciliation bill, and the parliamentarian has given her support as a matter of procedure. But it’s not easy. The revision has to go through the budget committee which is split 11D-11R. However, Republicans can just not show up to the committee in which case a lack of quorum means no vote can happen at all. Assume the vote is held and splits, now someone has to move to bring the question before the full Senate. I’m not personally sure whether that motion is vulnerable to a filibuster, but let’s assume it isn’t. The Senate has to vote twice, 50-50 plus VP, to first to consider then to pass the revised budget resolution. The House must be notified, then it must concur, then the Senate must be notified. Then the Democrats have to agree on a fixed number to set the debt limit on, draft the reconciliation legislation, and pass it in both houses.

There is usually a necessary 24-hour notice before every vote, and I believe messages from the other chamber can only come in at the beginning of a legislative day.

~Max

Lindsay Graham says Republicans folded because they’re scared of the filibuster getting revoked.

Ted Cruz also complains that McConnell lost.

Seems even more certain that this was a fold by McConnell. And Democrats now know his weakness. Hopefully Manchin and Sinema are savvy enough to wield it - threaten to kill the filibuster, and McConnell will back down.

Nice to know Senator Cruz of Texas sees his job as a game of brinkmanship, gambling, and opposition. That he intends to intimidate the opposition (or as he sees them- “the enemy”) into doing what he wishs by coercion and intimidation. What a high minded statesman Senator Cruz turns out to be- the people of Texas must be - - so very proud. To show any compassion or sensibility hurts their credibility- it is better to throw money into the pot on a losing hand (inferior policy). At least he is brazen and open about his lack of morality.

Perhaps when he is done intimidating Democrats for minor points of political theater he will beat some kids or kick some puppies to entertain his constituents. Or perhaps dog fights, or cock fights for fun and profit; really anything that involves inflicting undue pain and suffering on others to enrich himself and his party would make for a good reelection advertisement.

(Talk about toxic macho posturing! I wrote some of the above to mock the Senator but honestly I am not sure he would not be willing to do or pose as doing one or more of those things to show just how no nonsense and masculine he is. You know Ted, when the going gets tough-- the tough get going . . . to Cancun!)

I believe there’s only one other developed nation, Denmark, that bothers with this (a ‘debt ceiling’) at all. So: yeah.

Another credible suggestion: make passage of the ceiling figure, whatever it may be, automatic each year UNLESS two-thirds of the Senate vote to stop it. Make those who want to see the USA default on its debts stand up and be counted!

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/10/11/why-do-only-us-and-denmark-have-a-debt-ceiling

Or if the Pubs are so against raising the debt ceiling they should bring it up during debate on spending bills like, “This bill will put us over the spending limit.”

During what?

~Max