Well, well, well…
Joe Biden, House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), and Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.) have a significant problem on their hands.
Senator Sinema (D-AZ) just put them all over a barrel filled with acid regarding reconciliation, and she does appear to be ready to back down anytime soon.
Pelosi has been adamant that she will not pass the bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill until she has the bigger reconciliation bill in hand.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has already caved, reportedly ready to sign off a bill that would add about another $2 trillion to the taxpayer tab.
The other holdout in the Senate, Sinema, has now reportedly told her colleagues that she would not even consider the reconciliation package until her bipartisan bill is passed through the House.
Reuters reported, “In an online meeting, Sinema and fellow Senate moderate Joe Manchin said they would not abide by any deadlines adopted by leadership to force votes on the package.”
This really puts Democrat leadership in a bind, as they will have no guarantees in terms of the larger bill passing once the smaller one is approved.
Now, based on the wording here, I would suspect that Sinema, like Manchin, has a number in mind that she would go for, so this is far from a complete victory.
We can, however, take solace in the fact she is giving Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer a major case of heartburn because progressives have been adamant they will not vote for the smaller bill until they have the reconciliation package on the floor.
There is still a small chance this entire thing could blow up in their faces, which, of course, is what we are hoping for.
It would be incredible to see Joe Biden walk away from the table with nothing when he could have had a win weeks ago, but the Democrats decided to push all-in, only now the turn card gave their opponent an open-ended straight-flush draw.
Anyone who has ever sat at a poker table with a stack of chips in the middle with a full house will appreciate just how sickening of a feeling that is.