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Stop Fretting About the Reconciliation Bill

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The budget reconciliation bill has reached a “potentially devastating impasse” (New York Times) and “the fate of the Biden presidency” is “on the line” (Greg Sargent, Washington Post). These are the times that try men’s souls. Except not mine, particularly. All I see is a power struggle between the Democrats’ left and right flanks that will get resolved, probably quite satisfactorily, fairly soon.

It’s amazing to me that a political class that so recently experienced a genuine political crisis—the January 6 Capitol insurrection—can get so worked up over a crisis that’s so obviously phony. The Democrats’ progressive wing and its moderate wing are haggling over the size of what will certainly be a very large spending bill by any historic reckoning. The moderates have more clout than they should because the Democrats’ Senate majority is paper-thin. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AR) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are exploiting the situation for all it’s worth, and that’s certainly annoying. But it isn’t an emergency.

Democratic leaders in Congress have proposed a $3.5 trillion budget funded by $2.9 trillion in taxes. (Both figures represent spending and revenues projected........

© New Republic

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