Bill on the Brink

By Eric Vallen

With the passing of an over one-trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill through the Senate, a massive compromise between the parties, on Tuesday August 10, the House of Representatives has the ball, and has the power to make or break the backbone of Joe Biden’s domestic socio-economic policy. Typically, looking at the last ten years of votes on domestic policy within the Senate, voting numbers have primarily been equally split, with 51 Democrats to 47 Republicans in 2012, 52 Republicans to 46 Democrats in 2016, and a 50/50 split since the 2020 elections. Considering how extremely partisan the parties are at the moment, many political spectators were shocked when the results of the Senate vote came out in early August, that being an unusually bipartisan vote of 69 for and 30 against. 

Compounding the unusualness of the ongoing situation, as of September 23, five House Republicans have publicly voiced their support for the infrastructure bill in their hands, the majority of them being from primarily rural states like Nebraska and Wyoming, telling of possible reasons for the unusual bipartisan aspects of support for the bill. Additionally, both parties have certain factions within their regions of each House of Congress, most notably being within leftist and centrist Democratic groups within the House and Senate. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi has promised centrists and leftists within her sphere of a vote on the one-trillion compromise bill by September 27th, however, several factions within the house are conflicted on whether to vote on the original 3.5 trillion bill, or the 1.2 trillion dollar bill with a supplemental 3 trillion dollars to be spent on problems concerning the environment and climate change. 

In response, President Biden has reportedly met with several democratic leaders, both in the Senate and House, in the White House this past week in order to discuss the democratic infighting of recent weeks, and the measures taken in order to negate those issues. Under interview, several senators attested to the meeting’s excellence, with senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia describing it as “a very good meeting…It was a very constructive meeting.” However, harrowing to supporters of the Democratic party, little opinion was released by House Democrats, leaving the fate of the several bills in question in the balance. 

As of September 23, there has been no definitive evidence released by reputable media that one of the bills has either passed through the house or not, relationships between warring factions within both parties are still developing at this minute, and the bills are in the balance, at the mercy of whatever conclusion Congress comes to. In essence, Joe Biden’s crowning achievement is on the brink of success or failure at this very moment.