BREAKING: NBC News reports Senate Dems to “shelve” BBB

Rather than play chicken with Joe Biden’s progressive spend-o-rama, NBC News reports, Senate Democrats will, um … play chicken for the second time on its federal takeover of elections. So … they’re trading one game of chicken for another? What’s the popular definition of insanity again?

Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer planned to negotiate more with Joe Manchin yesterday and today. Can we presume that it didn’t go well? Nancy Pelosi certainly didn’t sound happy about the talks:

Talk about insanity. This is the same “leverage” that Pelosi used to tie up the bipartisan infrastructure bill until Democrats took a beating in the elections last month. Now she’s leveraging children in order to force a vote on the same bill. That’s desperation indeed.

Apparently, Henry Olsen was more prescient than we knew. And perhaps so was I in comparing this situation to the collapse of SB1, the so-called “voting rights” bill that died on the vine last year because of opposition within the Democratic caucus and the filibuster. Schumer’s apparently attempting to fix the latter problem today:

I excerpted my May review of the filibuster situation that led to the collapse on SB1 in the earlier post, but I’ll repeat it here too:

The Post mentions that Democrats are frustrated that Manchin won’t overturn the filibuster to eliminate that need for engagement, but that’s also old news and Manchin’s not the only obstacle there either. Kyrsten Sinema has been even more opposed than Manchin to a change or elimination of the filibuster, and her Arizona colleague Mark Kelly belatedly (and somewhat ambiguously) chimed in to support Sinema. Progressives have been attacking Manchin and Sinema as “racists” ever since, which needless to say hasn’t wooed either of them off that position.

Insanity might put it mildly. This got tanked when Joe Biden enjoyed widespread popularity and high job approvals. With inflation raging and voters objecting to Biden’s performance and the direction he’s taking, why try now to pass another partisan bill on non-priorities for voters? Schumer should be focusing on a targeted Democratic response to inflation that might allow his caucus to reconnect to voters that they have clearly alienated. Instead, he’s choosing to do a remake of his greatest faceplants of 2021.

What about the BBB now? If this really does get punted into 2021, it’s all but dead on arrival. Democrats won’t want to take up the spending aspects of this while inflation rages and budget gimmicks keep getting exposed while simultaneously campaign for the midterms. Once the child tax credits come to an end, Congress will have to restart them rather than merely extend them in the manner that the BBB would have done, too. It’s practically the worst of all worlds, brought by leadership that vastly oversold its capabilities while failing to do the work necessary on a rational agenda that could pass in an evenly split Beltway.

Update: This should be obvious, but …

I don’t think they’ll get any closer in 2022 either.

Update: Across the aisle, Josh Marshall calls this a “joke”:

Exactly. Schumer would have been better off just sending the Senate home.

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