Senate

Blinken firing blanks, day 2

Featured image Following up on his remote appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in person yesterday. The State Department has posted the text and video of his opening statement here. ​ The song remains the same. Blinken continues to fire blanks. However, some of the senators had live ammo. Blinken faced a barrage of critical questions and »

Manchin’s red line

Featured image Joe Manchin reportedly has told the White House that he won’t support a reconciliation spending bill that exceeds $1.5 trillion. He might not even support one that exceeds $1 trillion, according to the same report. Without Manchin’s support, there can be no reconciliation package. Add $1.5 trillion to the roughly $1 trillion in the bipartisan infrastructure, and the price tag for Republicans losing the Senate comes to around $2.5 trillion. »

Senate advances reconciliation “blueprint” but Manchin balks at price tag

Featured image By a count of 50-49, the Senate has voted to proceed with formulating a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. Joe Manchin provided the vote that enabled this. Almost immediately thereafter, however, Manchin said he is unlikely to support such a package once it is presented. Manchin explained that he has “serious concerns about the grave consequences facing West Virginians and every American family if Congress decides to spend another $3.5 »

Some dare call it infrastructure, cont’d

Featured image I’ve been waiting for some trusted source to take a look under the hood of the 2,700 page bipartisan infrastructure bill. Even before we look under the hood, you know that we should be referring to it as the alleged “infrastructure” bill. Joel Abbott took an early look at some lowlights in the Not the Bee column “People are finding more and more insane stuff in the 2,702 page ‘infrastructure’ »

Some dare call it infrastructure

Featured image I don’t think we have a text to go to yet, but I have absolutely no doubt that the editors of the Wall Street Journal correctly assess the so-called bipartisan infrastructure deal as “not so grand.” If the Journal has these details right, that is a grand understatement. They highlight “an epic binge of green subsidies and more handouts for states and localities.” To wit: Consider mass transit, which received »

Here’s a Biden nominee the Senate might not confirm

Featured image Joe Biden has been very successful in having his nominees, no matter how radical, confirmed — especially considering that the Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. As far as I know, only one Biden nominee has failed. Biden had to withdraw Neera Tanden’s nomination to head the OMB because she had insulted a number of Senators. But other, more radical nominees like Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke were »

What price bipartisanship?

Featured image Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the bipartisan infrastructure deal was in a “precarious state” because the Republicans who are a party to the negotiations were balking over details, particularly the idea of beefing up the IRS in order to raise revenue to help pay for the legislation. Today, Politico reports that the needed Republican votes probably aren’t there to agree to anything on Chuck Schumer’s timetable. Schumer has scheduled »

Compromise, GOP style, cont’d

Featured image Rich Lowry writes at some length urging Republicans abandon the infrastructure deal. He argues that Republicans “have nothing to gain by blessing a portion of President Joe Biden’s spending plans, when an ungodly amount of money is going to go out the door regardless of whether they vote for a chunk of it or not.” Yesterday I linked to and wrote about Marc Thiessen’s Washington Post column supporting the deal »

Compromise, GOP style

Featured image Marc Thiessen has written a good column on the alleged infrastructure compromise bill in process. The column appears in the Washington Post under the headline “Biden’s fake infrastructure ‘compromise’ has thrown Democrats into disarray.” AEI has posted Thiessen’s column in accessible form here. Thiessen describes what sounds like an illusory deal for the GOP: President Biden’s big gaffe was not his threat to veto a $1.2 trillion infrastructure deal he »

War on the suburbs, infrastructure style

Featured image If Republicans have signed off on the alleged infrastructure bill that is to be formulated as a “compromise” lopping off the ginormous tax and spending package Democrats intend to push through on their own, we should take a closer look at its contents. According to the March 31 White House Fact Sheet: The President’s plan invests $213 billion to produce, preserve, and retrofit more than two million affordable and sustainable »

Clean-up on WH aisle five

Featured image The editors of the Wall Street Journal seem to me to bring the necessary cynicism to explicating the infrastructure “compromise” that is to preface enactment of the related Dem wish list/prospective spending blowout: Mr. Biden’s statement Saturday changes nothing except the [White House counselor Steven] Ricchetti atmospherics. Mr. Biden spoke the real truth on Thursday. He knows, because Mr. Ricchetti tells him, that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader »

Reconcile this

Featured image Politico Playbook cheers on the Democrats as it lets us know what “the deal” is. I take it from the Playbook report here this morning that it’s not a good deal. It’s a bad deal (emphases and links omitted in excerpt below): — Reconciliation. Despite Biden’s statement, the enormous reconciliation bill that Democrats are drafting will hang over the process all summer and remain a handy excuse [sic (and sickening)] »

Where is the love?

Featured image How is the GOP wing of the bipartisan infra dig infrastructure contingent taking their exposure as chumps on the morning after? Let’s go to this afternoon’s Politico Playbook PM for an update: This morning, we reported that Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.), one of the 11 Republicans who supported the bipartisan infrastructure framework, was backing out of the deal over President JOE BIDEN’S insistence that he would not sign the bipartisan »

The double-cross system

Featured image It’s hard to believe that a Senator as sophisticated as Rob Portman is a knowing participant in the double-cross system that has been presented to us under the rubric of a “bipartisan deal.” What’s the deal? The editors of the Wall Street Journal describe it bluntly as a “double cross” in their lead editorial (“Instant Bipartisan Double Cross”) this morning: Mr. Biden stood with five Democratic and five Republican Senators »

In a glass house with Sheldon Whitehouse

Featured image If the media pursued Democrats as it pursues Republicans, the odious Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island would be hounded from public life. The Washington Free Beacon’s Joe Simsonson follows up on a story that we have found of interest. Imagine this: Democratic lawmakers and racial justice advocates have kept quiet about Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s membership in a racially exclusionary organization, seemingly satisfied with the Rhode Island Democrat’s explanation »

Sheldon Whitehouse belongs to all-White beach club he promised to quit years ago

Featured image Sheldon Whitehouse is among the most obnoxious members of the Senate. He’s also among the most hypocritical. Whitehouse calls himself progressive and an opponent of “systemic racism.” Yet, the New York Post reports that the Rhode Island Senator has belonged for decades to an all-White beach club. I call that regressive. Whitehouse has confirmed the truth of this report. What’s his defense? He says “I think the people who are »

Senate senility

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the current U.S. Senate is the oldest in American history. Dianne Feinstein turns 88 this month. Charles Grassley turns 88 in September. Richard Shelby is 87. James Inhofe is 86. Patrick Leahy is 81. Twenty-three senators are in their 70s. The average age of senators at the beginning of this year was 64.3 years. It may be that being 88 now is like being, say, »