House Democrats miss chance to help McAuliffe

Democrats are closer than ever to victory in President BidenJoe Biden Biden Administration Targets Methane Emissions McConnell Criticizes Possible Payments to Separated Migrant Families Poll: 50 percent of Republicans don’t think their vote is accurately counted MOREthe Build Back Better package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, but they are missing a chance to propel Terry McAuliffe into the race for governor of Virginia.

Even if House Democrats can pass both laws as early as Tuesday, a fact that seemed less likely Monday after the centrist senator’s public comments. Joe manchinJoe Manchin On The Money – Presented by Citi – Progressives ignore Manchin warning Cori Bush criticizes Manchin for opposition to spending bill: ‘Anti-Black, anti-child, anti-woman and anti-Immigrant’ Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented by The American Petroleum Institute – Glasgow Summit begins MORE (DW.Va.) – the votes will have already been cast.

And if McAuliffe loses to Republican Glenn Youngkin, there will be some questions about legislative strategy.

“The fact that it’s even close and the outcome is in doubt should be a wake-up call to Democrats that Democrats really need to accomplish great things that change people’s lives,” said Joe Dinkin, director of national campaigns. of the Party of Working Families.

McAuliffe was once seen as the clear favorite in Virginia, a state that Biden won by 10 percentage points in 2020. But recent polls show he is essentially on or behind Youngkin.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), A former Virginia Lieutenant Governor, said he was “disappointed” when Democratic House leaders were forced to abandon plans for a vote to pass the infrastructure bill. bipartisan approved by the Senate last Thursday due to resistance from progressives, who wanted to see the legislative language of the social spending bill and get stronger commitments from Manchin and his centrist colleague, the senator. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten SinemaCori Bush criticizes Manchin for opposition to spending bill: ‘Anti-black, anti-child, anti-women and anti-immigrant’ Manchin frustrates Democrats with latest White House outburst ‘confident’ in that Manchin will support the reconciliation framework MORE (D-Ariz.).

Beyer acknowledged that having the vote before Election Day “would certainly be helpful” for the gubernatorial candidate, but ultimately predicted that it would not be the deciding factor in the race.

“It would have given the president a victory, a victory for the American people,” Beyer said. “But I think we are going to win in Virginia anyway.”

Rep. Gerry connollyGerald (Gerry) Edward Connolly Progressives see infrastructure vote next week Dem expects infrastructure vote to hit brick wall Biden fights to slow down in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Va.) He similarly said that the lengthy delay in Congress to send the infrastructure bill, which has both Republican and Democratic support, to Biden’s desk is not ideal for Democrats, though he said it paled in comparison with topics such as the pandemic and the country’s economic recovery.

“Help us? No. Does it hurt? A little, ”Connolly said.

Several observers say the real problem for the party is keeping the promises made to voters in 2020.

“When the Democrats benefit from the people, the Democrats win,” Dinkin said. “When the Democrats are not complying with the people it is what sets the stage for the right-wing monster of the week to become the main topic of the speech.”

It’s unclear to what extent the division among Democrats is really hampering McAuliffe.

Youngkin has focused his attacks on education while distancing himself from Trump. McAuliffe has gone to great lengths to link Youngkin with the former Republican president, seeing it as the best way to encourage Democrats to go to the polls.

Biden’s wavering approval numbers have surely been a drag on McAuliffe, who from the sidelines had urged the House to take over and pass the infrastructure bill already passed by the Senate. McAuliffe and his allies saw the passage of that bill as something that could change the national political momentum by giving Biden and the Democrats a clear victory.

The bipartisan bill has been stuck in the House because progressives saw it as a lever to move the social spending and climate package. They feared that if the infrastructure bill passed quickly, Manchin, Sinema and the centrists might not back the other measure, which is their key priority.

On Monday, Manchin withheld all his support for that bill, saying he wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to end the budget deficit. He also demanded that the House vote on infrastructure.

“Holding this bill hostage is not going to work to get my support for the reconciliation bill,” he said of the House progressives.

Republicans have taken over Democratic intraparty issues.

“Democrats are going to have a hard time, they’re already going through it, answering all these questions honestly,” said John Castorani, Republican candidate for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. “How come we can’t get a reconciliation approved? How come we don’t have an approved infrastructure law? “

Some agents believe that too much attention is being paid to the congressional fight, arguing that it is unlikely to be the main factor in Virginia. But even these voices acknowledge Biden’s troubles, and the struggle in Washington, where Democrats have control of the White House and Congress, is a potential deterrent for McAuliffe.

“I think frustration with the leadership of the country is a problem for the race regardless,” said Jared Leopold, a veteran Democratic strategist in the state and a McAuliffe ally. “But I don’t think if a bill had been passed last week, it would have fundamentally altered the race.”

“The national environmental challenge is not specific to this bill,” he said. “You don’t see people in Chesterfield County or Newport News talking about Joe Manchin.”

Scott Wong contributed.

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