A frantic Chuck Schumer called into the Oval Office on Thursday. Sensing the desperation in his voice, administration officials immediately put the Senate Majority Leader on speaker with President Biden. “White House, I can’t hold her! She’s breaking up! She’s breaking up!” With that, Biden’s Build Back Better bill crashed and burned, and along with it the hopes and dreams of the American people.
The ambitious soft infrastructure bill which was variously marketed to Americans as a six trillion dollar bill, then a 3.5 trillion dollar bill, then a two trillion dollar bill failed to generate enough support in the Senate.
After winning the presidency, retaining 50 seats in the Senate and claiming a commanding seven seat edge in the House last election, Democrats sensed it was time to enact the most ambitious social spending bill in American history.
The American people were giddy with anticipation over how much the Democrats would spend. Should they go for the whole six trillion dollar enchilada or settle for a more modest three trillion dollar taquito?
At the end of the day, mean old Senators Manchin and Sinema shot it down with their failure to support the package. Some Dems have already signaled a willingness to primary the pair. Manchin hails from a state that supported Trump by a 38 percent margin and Sinema narrowly squeaked out a victory in a state that until her sent a pair of Republicans to the Senate. Still, many Dems see a primary challenge from the left as a winning strategy.
However, the White House has not given up hope that the bill can be revived. After surveying the damage, President Biden addressed Democratic leadership, “Build Back Better, a bill barely alive. Ladies and gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We can build it back better than it was. Better…stronger…faster. It will be the world’s first six trillion dollar bionic bill.”