Silent Sinema stresses Democrats as they rush to pass Manchin-approved legislation.

 Silent Sinema stresses Democrats as they rush to pass Manchin-approved legislation.

Silent Sinema stresses Democrats as they rush to pass Manchin-approved legislation.

In addition to the whip count, passing the bill by next week without a single Republican vote will be difficult. Democrats are already working behind the scenes to ensure the bill follows the special budget rules that allow them to avoid a filibuster. However, that slog could consume critical time over the next week, resulting in the nonpartisan Senate rules referee removing portions of the proposal.


All of this could happen in real time, with Democrats forced to defend parts of their signature party-line bill against Republican challenges as it is debated on the floor. There's also the unlimited vote-a-rama spree, in which any senator, including Sinema, can try to change the bill by offering amendments.


In a sign that Republicans will fight the bill vehemently, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats have created "an absolute monstrosity, and we're going to be really aggressively opposed."

Sinema did not show up to the meeting. And Schumer has repeatedly refused to comment on her possible vote. "You witnessed what she said. So, no comment from me. I'm not going to say anything about Sinema."


Meanwhile, Manchin told reporters that he had not spoken with her but hoped "she would be receptive." He went on to say that he is "adamant" about closing the carried interest loophole.


Sinema reached an agreement with the White House last year on a menu of revenue options to finance Democrats' party-line vision. She stated in March that a potential agreement with Manchin "already has enough tax reform options to pay for it."


"There are a few rocks in the river in front of us because every senator, including myself, has something I wanted in this package that isn't in it," Sen. Chris Coons observed (D-Del.). "The journey from here to completion is going to be an interesting one." But I'm confident we'll get there."


Some believe Sinema has no choice but to support the deal in the end. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) stated that "her state is going to need her on this," and that she "politically has no choice."

Democrats held a closed-door caucus meeting Thursday morning to discuss the stunning Wednesday agreement. During the meeting, Schumer touted the agreement and urged his caucus to go above and beyond to get the bill passed before Congress' usual summer recess.

Sinema previously expressed support for addressing climate change in a party-line vote and reached an agreement with Democrats last year to reduce prescription drug costs. However, she has objected to at least one provision in the bill: closing the carried interest loophole, which currently allows certain financial firms to pay lower tax rates on their earnings.


The agreement announced Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) surprised most caucus members, many of whom learned about it through Manchin's press release. Senate Democrats remain confident that they will eventually have all 50 members, including Sinema.


Nonetheless, one person who spoke with Sinema described her as "frustrated" about not being looped in, while another said she was "totally shocked." Republicans believe she is their only chance to derail the agreement.


"She was not consulted," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who worked with Sinema last month to pass a bipartisan gun safety bill and has repeatedly chastised Manchin in recent days. "I know I can trust her when she tells me something," he added. I'm starting to think I can't trust anyone around here when they tell me something because they lie about it all the time."

Almost every Senate Democrat is banding together to get their $700 billion-plus climate, tax, and health-care bill past the chamber's stringent filibuster rules. Kyrsten Sinema remains a mystery.


According to her spokesperson, the Arizona Democrat has not commented on the legislation and is not expected to do so until she reviews the text and the Senate parliamentarian's rulings. Her decision-making timeline is currently uncertain, with the package expected to reach the floor as early as the middle of next week.

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