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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

How the Infrastructure Deal Helps Biden, Dems

Stephen Collinson explains “Why the infrastructure deal is so important for Joe Biden” at CNN Politics:

“The breakthrough will mean that the President’s willingness to give the Senate time to find a rare compromise will have paid off. The pact will, however, fall far short of the much more ambitious plan that Biden originally tabled and is sure to dismay liberals in the Democratic Party, who are demanding a companion proposal worth $6 trillion that they will try to squeeze through the 50-50 Senate using only Democratic votes.

The sudden rush for progress in an institution that often dawdles was brought on by the approaching July 4 recess that effectively begins in the Senate on Thursday night. Legislative time is sparse after that until after Labor Day.

The compressed timeline comes at a moment when Biden and Democrats badly need a win. Since the President signed a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill in March, it’s often looked like minority Republicans have been running the ship. The GOP crushed two Democratic priorities — a bipartisan, independent commission into the January 6 insurrection and on Tuesday used filibuster blockading tactics to kill a vast voting rights bill. Those moves further convinced liberal Democrats that Biden’s hopes of working with an opposition party that seems no longer to care about democracy are futile.”

Collinson writes that “An infrastructure bill would be especially important to Biden because first-term presidencies are all about momentum as a president’s power to force action tends to wane quickly. If Biden doesn’t rack up some legacy achievements soon, his capacity to do so will diminish. And Democrats are also anxiously eying the calendar knowing their precarious hold on power on Capitol Hill may end after midterm elections next year.”

Thinking visually, Collinson adds”While Biden has infuriated many on his own side, a bipartisan bill signing ceremony would be politically valuable for a President who has pitched a moderate image, despite the considerable ambition of his domestic agenda.” It’s a good look for the Democratic Party and the President of a nation hungry for some signs of leadership for more cooperation and less partisan yammering.

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