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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Budowsky: The political war of the worlds in 2022, 2024

Democrats, including President BidenJoe BidenBiden pushing to support Florida schools amid DeSantis mask dispute Cuomo resigns after inquiry finds he harassed women GOP governors divided over response to COVID-19 surge MORE, Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenate Democrats try to defuse GOP budget drama Nearly 200 House Democrats call for focus on clean energy tax credits in reconciliation Democrats take first step toward .5T spending plan MORE (W.Va.), Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaSenate gives Biden big bipartisan win OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate passes T bipartisan infrastructure bill | Energy Dept. proposes rule aimed at increased lightbulb efficiency | Administration begins review of bird habitat Trump left open for mining Biden hails bipartisan Senate vote in victory lap speech MORE (Ariz.), and all Democratic members of the House and Senate must fully understand the scope, magnitude and aggression of the war of the worlds in American politics being waged by former President TrumpDonald TrumpWyoming GOP leaders say they no longer recognize Cheney as party member GOP governors divided over response to COVID-19 surge Senate gives Biden big bipartisan win MORE and GOP leaders in the House and Senate.

President Biden and all members of the bipartisan group championing the infrastructure bill that passed the Senate Tuesday deserve great credit for a major bipartisan achievement. However:

First, the far larger, more sweeping and more profound $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill will have governing implications that can fairly be compared to the New Deal under Franklin Roosevelt, and political impact far beyond what is discussed in most political media.

The reconciliation bill involves a philosophical war of the worlds between the two major parties about the role of government in raising the standard of living for a large majority of Americans. As discussed below, this proposal will give Democrats a historic opportunity to create a new governing majority, with one major danger, the possibility of inflation, with odds of happening or not that leading experts including the Federal Reserve Board are debating today.

Biden and Democrats will continue tax cuts for families with children, move to lower prices for prescription drugs, expand health insurance subsidies under ObamaCare, create tax benefits for consumers who buy electric vehicles and companies that make them, incentivize  production Made in America, increase funding for senior citizens who want long term care in their homes, and expand Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision.

Economically and politically these and other provisions promote economic fairness, directly benefit a huge swath of the American people, create millions of above-average paying new jobs for happy workers who will pay taxes to reduce the deficit, advance the movement of jobs back to America, create a path to citizenship for the immigrant “Dreamers” and take dramatic steps to combat the scourge of climate change.

Biden and Democrats can claim, with impact and results that voters will clearly benefit from and understand, that they are the party that cares about and fights for moms, dads, children, grandmas, grandpas, jobs and American workers with popular programs that Republicans oppose. 

This will define for voters the differences between the parties on highly favorable terms that a strong majority of voters will understand, appreciate, benefit from and support.

The second war of the worlds involves the pure naked aggression of partisan Republicans, in state after state, of instituting aggressive voter suppression, and aggressive partisan gerrymandering, that has major potential if unchecked by Congress to give Republicans control of the House and/or the Senate.

It is imperative, for democracy to withstand this attack, that President Biden and all Democrats clearly understand that they cannot support voting rights and democracy without simultaneously opposing the Senate filibuster designed to support the destruction of voting rights and attacks against democracy.

If the filibuster defeats legislation designed to thwart aggressive voter suppression, GOP changes in the way votes are counted, and hyper-partisan gerrymandering the danger to Democrats of Republicans winning control of the House or Senate, which are already real, rise even further.

If filibusters succeed and Republicans gain control of either the House or Senate, Republicans will succeed in their declared dream of making Biden a half-term president. His legislative program will be dead in Congress. After a game-changing reconciliation bill is enacted into law this year, it will not be funded by Congress.  

If Republicans win either house of Congress, instead of funding these programs Republicans will try to repeal them (sound familiar?). Republican-controlled committees will launch partisan investigations against Biden as they did against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPress: No, the progressive movement is not dead!  Biden emboldens establishment Democrats with ballot box wins US has opportunity to establish stronger economic ties with Laos MORE. Republicans in states will feel unchained and institute even more Draconian voter suppression and changes in the way votes are counted to try to steal the 2024 presidential election, as President Trump tried to steal the 2020 elections.

United Democrats can stop this, and must, or else.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives.


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