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What Will Democrats Tell Voters If They Screw This Up?

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Democrats in Congress now have a brief window to shepherd a bipartisan infrastructure bill to its completion, finalize the plans for a budget reconciliation bill filled with key Democratic Party priorities, and successfully raise the debt ceiling so that the economy doesn’t whirl into a downturn amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s quite a daunting obstacle course; you might even call it a high-wire act. More specifically, however, you can call this President Biden’s entire legislative agenda.

Once these three matters are settled, that’s basically a wrap for Democratic lawmakers for the next few years. Yes, the House of Representatives has taken action on a number of other measures, such as voting rights, and it might pass further bills down the line. These efforts will all run aground in the Senate, where too many Democrats prefer to maintain the filibuster than pass laws that might end up on Joe Biden’s desk.

Most of the coverage of the Democrats’ current travails has focused on how factionalism between moderates and progressives could prevent Biden’s legislative agenda from ever being enacted. But it might be a good thing to set these divisions aside and consider what unites all Democrats: the need to minimize the damage to their majorities in 2022 and to reelect Biden two years after that. That’s three solid years of relentless campaigning. What do Democrats plan to say to voters during this time? What accomplishments will they cite as a reason for voters to keep them in........

© New Republic

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