Analysis: The two political truths Joe Biden can't ignore
March 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
Compression ratio: 28.7%. 2 min read.
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., right, speaks during a meeting about cancer in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Here's what we've learned about Washington and US policymaking since President Joe Biden took office, paraphrasing from CNN's political director David Chalian:
GOP lawmakers have clearly decided whatever backlash they will face from voters for the unified obstruction of a Democratic President is less bad than the backlash they'll face for working across the aisle. Democrats aren't going to spend much time trying to find Republican help.
Democrats have clearly learned it's not worth waiting for any Republicans to work with them on their priorities, no matter how much of the country agrees there should be additional Covid relief, police reform or a more streamlined election system.
The vote was 220 in favor to 210 opposed, with two lawmakers not voting. Election reform passed the House.
The "For the People" Act is meant to update the Voting Rights Act. The vote was 220 in favor to 212 opposed. Covid relief passed the House.
Now apply that down-the-middle split on these major pieces of legislation to the Senate, where the two parties each have 50 votes.
Perhaps Biden will have an awakening to changing Senate rules after a few months of trying to get anything substantial done with just 50 Senate votes.
The point here is that while Biden came to the White House promising to work across party lines and begging both sides for unity, we are still stuck in the same House passes -> Senate fails -> repeat cycle, and it persists no matter who is in charge.
Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is making the Senate clerks read aloud the entire $1 plus trillion Senate version of the Covid relief bill.
That will precede a massive game of Senate chess known as a "vote-a-rama," where Republicans try to attach "poison pills" to the bill before it passes.