The progressive bluff on a resurrected BBB
House Democrats, or at those progressives form the safest of House districts, are intent on reanimating the corpse of Build Back Better. While these would-be Dr. Frankenstein’s know they don’t have the votes to pass the BBB again, they have something like a Plan B.
As Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post:
The Progressive Caucus will continue to work toward legislation for Build Back Better, focused on keeping it as close to the agreed-upon framework as possible. At the same time, we are calling on the president to use executive action to immediately improve people’s lives. Taking executive action will also make clear to those who hinder Build Back Better that the White House and Democrats will deliver for Americans. The CPC will soon release a plan for these actions, including lowering costs, protecting the health of every family, and showing the world that the United States is serious about our leadership on climate action.
As Philip Klein writes, for all the bluster on display here, it’s really nothing more than a bluff:
If it were simple for Biden to somehow enact his entire agenda with the stroke of a pen, Democrats would not have wasted months trying to pass something into law.
It is ironic, however, that as much as progressives like to talk about the need to protect democracy, they are awfully quick to jump toward doing things unilaterally when they don’t have the votes to pass their agenda.
True. It also underscores how badly Democrats misread the 2020 election results, mistaking their narrow House majority, and a tied Senate, for a transformative legislative mandate.
Then again, politicians of both major parties have long misunderstood that the thing voters really want is government to do its few mandatory functions well, and otherwise leave people alone.