No one is going to care in November 2022 about the minutia of parliamentary procedure and the various ways power politics played out in the last week of September 2021. No one is going to care if progressive House lawmakers had to vote to pass the infrastructure bill before voting on the reconciliation plan.
What voters, however, will care about is if the popular infrastructure bill was passed and the promised upgrades to roads and bridges will impact their lives. And they will care about how exorbitant costs of infant care will be paid for.
But it also needs to be noted that not so long ago those same voters would consider even a trillion dollars in programming for a variety of national needs, which could be included in a separate and large reconciliation bill, would be a huge amount of federal monies that would be most beneficial for their communities.
But to get from the congressional bickering and narrow-eyed views of some Democratic members today and arrive at the point the party needs to be in for the mid-terms will require something that seems in desperate shortage.
Over the past week, I have wished for President Biden to be more forthright in a public way as to what he can accept, and equally what he is not able to allow when it comes to the large domestic spending bill. The moderates who want to play such a pivotal role in Democratic politics need to be equally forthcoming about how low they wish to drive the dollars for the bill. And last, but not least, progressives have to measure what they wish to achieve against perhaps in their zeal winding up losing the majority in the House.
Crafting legislation is never a smooth journey or one that is easy to watch. When it comes to massive spending measures or ones that will define a president it can be simply overwhelming. For citizens who tune in to watch such processes only occasionally, it must seem chaotic and totally baffling.
But come the mid-terms those same voters will be asking what resulted from the Democratic control of Washington? Elected Democrats need to have not only an answer, they need to have proven results.
It comes as no shock that I am not politically aligned with the likes of Senator Joe Manchin who prattles on about not wanting “to change our whole society to an entitlement mentality.” But I am also not aligned completely with some on the far left who seem unable to control expanding requests for a list of items, though I personally support, knowing some to be far ahead of the country’s appetite for such sweeping reforms.
I have never been one to say the public is overly well-informed, so to have Congress get too far ahead of where the nation is on climate control programs (though they are needed) is one area where restraint is needed. Solar tariffs are one area where the public is lagging behind with information, and the wrong turn by Congress could greatly harm the industry stateside. These are the types of issues that if not handled adroitly now will have consequences come the mid-terms.
It is great to dream bold, and I often have said on this blog we need to do more of that very thing when it comes to national policy. With such policy moves, however, comes the dose of reality. Any President of the United States, or Speaker of the House, or Senate Majority Leader must understand from the start the best way to succeed is knowing pragmatism and compromise must be constantly used in governing. All parts of the process are now needing to comes to terms with that fact.
I have faith that at the end of this process in Washington there will be an infrastructure bill, reconciliation bill, and, of course, a debt ceiling increase. How the large domestic measure looks, and what amount of funding is included will be up to the compromising needs of creating legislation with the needed votes for passage.
And so it goes.