If centrists want to get to ‘yes,’ last-minute agreements will probably save the almost $2 trillion legislation much like it did the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, handing the President, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi another much-needed triumph.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and different centrists are looking for a reason to break with their party on the big spending bill. Wednesday’s Inflation numbers released Wednesday presented them with another reason.
“By all accounts, the threat posed by record inflation to the American people is not ‘transitory’ and is instead getting worse,” Manchin tweeted in response to the Labor Department’s report. “From the grocery store to the gas pump, Americans know the inflation tax is real, and DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day.”
The 6.2% spike in consumer prices for the year ending in October could intensify anxieties. The excessive federal spending is already overheating the economy before Democrats promote Biden’s reconciliation measure. Although it is not the only factor giving wary centrist lawmakers hesitation.
Republicans swept the statewide offices in Virginia and made gains in the Legislature, the fact that Biden won the commonwealth by 10 points a year ago. The GOP came close to upsetting Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and ousted the state Senate President, a Democrat, with a lightly funded challenger.
These election results seem to verify a raft of polling revealing the President and the Administration are unpopular. A USA Today/Suffolk University survey discovered Biden with a 38% job approval rating. Vice President Kamala Harris was even worse off at 28%. And Republicans led in the generic congressional ballot.
Next year’s midterm elections were always expected to be a struggle for Democrats. The President’s party has lost seats in all but two midterm elections since 1938. Republicans got 52 House seats and their first majority in 40 years in 1994, former President Bill Clinton’s first midterm election. They picked up 63 House seats and another majority throughout former President Barack Obama’s in 2010.
Democrats don’t need losses on that scale for Republicans to recapture the majority next year. They hold only 222 seats in the House, and the Senate is split 50-50, with Democratic control hinging on Harris’s tie breaking vote. In each of the previous elections, Centrists were among the hardest hit. The 2022 elections are expected to be the same because these Democrats tend to be the ones representing the reddest states and most competitive districts.