Democrats struggle to advance after electoral setbacks

Democratic lawmakers are fighting for a way forward after disappointing election results Tuesday in Virginia, New Jersey and New York.

The enthusiasm of Republican voters and a decisive shift among independents toward the Republican Party are troubling developments for Democrats who now see their congressional majorities in real danger.

Republicans say their victories in Virginia and elsewhere are sending a clear message to Democrats that they have “overreached” their plan to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on social programs and raise taxes on the rich.

But Democrats generally reject that analysis, saying they lost because they didn’t move fast enough to do so. President BidenJoe BidenHouse sets Friday’s voting for Biden’s agenda. House leaders make a last-minute change to drug prices after the dispute aide who traveled with Biden to Europe tests positive for COVID-19: inform MOREof the agenda through Congress.

After months of inaction on Biden’s infrastructure and social spending plans, they are looking to break the deadlock and pass both the budget reconciliation package and the $ 1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill through the House on Friday.

If successful, the reconciliation measure would go to the Senate for further negotiation and review, while the infrastructure bill would go to Biden’s desk to become law.

The House Rules Committee met through Thursday night to prepare for the flurry of action before lawmakers leave for Veterans Day recess.

Also Thursday night, three moderate Democrats from New York and New Jersey announced an agreement on state and local tax deductions, an issue that had hampered progress on the reconciliation package.

Democratic lawmakers said the Republican campaign victories on Tuesday made it clear that they cannot allow their arguments within the party to continue to fester and that they need to get things done, even if moderates and progressives are not entirely happy with having to compromise. on key issues.

“If we had performed in early October, I think we could have had a much better result in Virginia and maybe other places as well, and I think the lesson from that is that the audience gave us the majority at a very critical time in our country. and they want us to use it, ”said the Senator. Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine Progressives Declare Victory in Fight Against Spending Bill The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Democrats ask what went wrong on Election Day Tuesday’s election results raise questions about Biden’s agenda MORE (D-Go.).

“I’m thinking about getting the job done and I think our delay in producing results … our delay in these two bills, I think it was painful,” he said. “I hope that the lesson that my colleagues and I learn and put into practice is that we have the majority and act accordingly.”

Senate Majority Leader Charles schumerChuck Schumer Immigration Reducers Make One Last Effort to Obtain Green Cards in Reconciliation New York City Helps Taxi Drivers After Hunger Strike Schumer Hints at Obstruction Reform After the Republican Party Blocked the Provisional Bill voting rights MORE (DN.Y.) appeared to agree with that analysis when asked Thursday to react to Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey and his home state.

“We have to do some real things. That is what people want. Reduce their costs, improve their lives, ”he said as he left the Capitol after a week of intense negotiations on the reconciliation proposal.

The morning after Republicans won big in Virginia and nearly achieved a shocking setback in the New Jersey gubernatorial race, Schumer sought to focus on how close Democrats are to reaching an agreement on the budget reconciliation package.

“Last night, I had another round of conversations after midnight with several of my colleagues as we move closer to a final agreement,” Schumer announced, promising, “the long hours we are putting in will be worth it.”

He also highlighted an agreement with the centrist senator. Kyrsten CinemaKyrsten Sinema Progressives Declare Victory in Fight Against Spending Law Assisted Living Providers Sound Alarm Over Lack of COVID-19 Help Manchin Says Democrats ‘Can’t Go Too Left’ MORE (D-Ariz.) On a scaled down proposal to empower Medicare to negotiate lower costs for some prescription drugs and criticized Republicans for opposing the John lewisJohn Lewis Good Republicans in Government May Be Democracy’s Last Hope Carper Supports Removing Obstruction on Voting Rights Harris Congratulates Youngkin on Governor’s Victory in Virginia MORE Voting Rights Act and for “hindering” Biden’s undisputed nominees.

But what some Democrats called the “bloodbath” in Virginia was not mentioned.

Centrist Sen. Joe manchinJoe ManchinHouse Sets Friday Voting For Biden Agenda Progressives Declare Victory In Fight Against Haaland Spending Bill – Reconciliation Bill Will Pass But May ‘Take A Little Longer’ MORE (DW.Va.) said Wednesday that Republican victories should sound an alarm among Democrats and prompt them to proceed more cautiously with the $ 1.75 billion social spending package.

“I think it should be a call for all of us to be more attentive to people at home,” he told reporters. “I think we should take our time and do it right.”

But other Democrats are learning a very different lesson. They say Virginia and New Jersey underscore the need to pick up the pace.

Its. Elizabeth warrenElizabeth Warren White House Calls on Senate Democrats to Meet with Powell This Month: Report Lawmakers Call on Biden to Revoke Wounded Knee Medals of Honor Democrats Call on Biden to Sanction Climate Change Taxpayers MORE (D-Mass.), A leading progressive, said Democrats should start putting points on the board by passing bills and doing so quickly.

“The Democrats must comply and we must comply with the things that affect people’s lives. People are tired of waiting, ”he said. “If the Democrats follow through on the things that affect people’s lives, the voters will remember that.”

Spokesman Nancy pelosiNancy PelosiHouse sets Friday voting for Biden’s agenda House leaders make last minute drug price change after On The Money dispute – Presented by Citi – Pelosi Pressure Cooker MORE (D-Calif.) He told his colleagues Thursday that there would be no deviation from the plan to pass the largest possible reconciliation package.

“We are proceeding with transformative legislation to drive historic progress for people, for children, and for the planet!” stated in a letter sent to House Democrats.

Its. Bernie sandersBernie SandersHouse Democrats Change SALT Provision in Spending Bill Big Tech Raffle at Build Back Better Will Hurt American Workers Democrats Call on Biden to Punish Climate Change Taxpayers MORE (I-Vt.) He said the fact that the talks that have dragged on through August, September and October is fueling voter frustration.

“It is no great secret that the American people are frustrated. The provisions of the reconciliation bill are hugely popular and that is why Republicans are opposed, ”he said. “That this has gone on and on week after week and month after month, that doesn’t sit well with me or the American people, and that’s a source of frustration, growing frustration.”

Democrats acknowledge that Biden’s poll numbers have softened significantly in recent months and say a big reason is that he hasn’t had any major legislative accomplishments to point to recently.

Biden’s job approval rating stood at 54 percent in mid-March, when he signed into law the $ 1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

It has steadily declined during the months-long drought during which Democratic leaders have been unable to bring the $ 1 trillion bipartisan reconciliation package or the Better Rebuild Act to their desk.

Gallup measured the approval rating for Biden’s job last month at 42 percent, the lowest mark of his presidency, and 52 percent of Americans disapprove of it.

But Democrats believe that if they can pass major spending plans that will start pumping money into the economy immediately, they will help lower the unemployment rate and boost public confidence ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Democratic lawmakers are also counting on the decline in the number of COVID infections, which they predict will also help the approval rating of Biden’s work.

A Democratic senator said the political environment will be better next year, once Democrats have a chance to sell what was accomplished through the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan infrastructure plan and the Build Back Better Act, than in total is projected to pump at least $ 4.65. trillion in the economy over the next decade.

The lawmaker said Democrats have been too consumed by negotiations on the reconciliation package to put together a solid messaging strategy for the election year.

“In reality, no one talked about us doing the Recovery Act because we moved on to the following. We don’t talk about how in three months we implemented the biggest tax cut for working families and reduced the poverty rate by 40 percent. No one has spoken about us, including us, ”said the senator, who requested anonymity to comment on the lack of a robust messaging strategy for the $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.

Democratic senators say stalled negotiations on the $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act have diverted public attention to infighting within their party rather than his proposals to expand the child tax credit and provide thousands of millions of dollars for expanded child care, pre-kindergarten and long-term. home health care.

Its. Mazie hironoMazie Keiko Hirono On The Money – Presented by Citi – Progressives ignore Manchin warning that Manchin frustrates Democrats with latest outbreak Democrats face wrath from women over loss of paid leave MORE (D-Hawaii) expressed frustration that so much media attention has been focused on the daily battles between progressives and Manchin, a key centrist, and not on the substance of the reconciliation package.

“We have to move on, that’s my opinion,” she said, admitting that she was disappointed with the results of Tuesday’s elections.

He said too much attention has been paid to Democratic infighting.

“There should be so much focus on focus that Republicans are doing absolutely nothing,” he said.

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