Lots of other lawmakers who need to be on board if congressional Democrats are going to pull this off
Let’s call them “the others.”
If Democrats are going to pass their $3.5 trillion social spending plan – and even the bipartisan infrastructure bill – they likely need to worry about Democrats who are not Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
The famous, one-two punch of “Manchin and Sinema” are now the “peanut butter and jelly” of the Capitol Hill vernacular. They just naturally go together. You can’t have one without the other.
But there are lots of other combinations of lawmakers who congressional Democratic leaders need to be on board if they’re going to pull this off.
The phenomenon of “the others” was on full display last week as the House Ways and Means Committee finished a marathon, four-day session to prepare the tax portion of the mammoth bill.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., is a member of that panel and leader of the “Blue Dogs,” a coalition of moderate Democrats who are fiscally-conscious. Murphy voted against the Ways and Means Committee advancing the overall plan.
“I strongly support numerous provisions,” said Murphy about the bill after the committee finished its work. But Murphy added that her nay vote hinged on “spending and tax provisions that give me pause.”
Murphy did leave a bit of wiggle room to perhaps vote yes later if the final product is “appropriately targeted and fiscally responsible – paid for by tax provisions that promote fairness.”
Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., represents parts of Queens and Long Island. He also expressed reservations about the Ways and Means Committee adopting the package without addressing something which hits high tax states: the so-called “SALT” reduction.
The 2017 GOP tax cut law actually nixed a deduction of state and local taxes (or SALT) for places like New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois. It’s believed that House Democratic leaders may aim to restore the deduction via an amendment as the plan goes to the floor. But nothing is complete yet.
So, Suozzi has been peppering the Democratic brain trust about SALT for months.
“‘No SALT, no deal,’” said Suozzi. “I am confident that the final reconciliation package will include a SALT fix.”
There are other, “others,” too.
By Chad Pergram