Democrats Rush to Pass Joe Biden’s Massive Tax and Spend Package Before Midterm Campaign Year

Democrats are rushing to pass President Biden’s $1.9 trillion reconciliation package before the upcoming campaign year of the 2022 midterms.

With the midterm elections less than a year away, campaigns are stepping into full swing. Democrat candidates are positioned to win primaries with hopes of defeating well-positioned Republicans in the general election.

But Biden’s reconciliation package, the most radical legislative item since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society in the 1960s, remains debated in the Senate, awaiting a vote.

The longer Biden’s package remains stuck in Congress, the more difficult it will presumably be for Democrat leadership to pass the measure in a campaign year. For this reason, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced last week he would like the package passed before Christmas.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a press conference following the Democrats Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol building on October 26, 2021 in Washington, DC. Democrats continue to negotiate within their party as they try to get the major parts of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda through Congress. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) listens during a press conference following the Democrats Policy Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol building on October 26, 2021, in Washington, DC. Democrats continue to negotiate within their party as they try to get the major parts of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda through Congress (Samuel Corum/Getty Images).

Democrats have blamed the bill’s stagnation on the Senate parliamentarian who must provide rulings on some of the radical items within the package.

It is unknown if the package will be passed by Christmas. Yet Democrat senators would prefer to keep their plan under wraps, so as to escape media scrutiny, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Politico. “[I] would prefer that the Democratic negotiation be quiet rather than in public because I think the protracted tug of war is not necessarily that helpful,” he admitted.

Kaine also revealed that a hard deadline may not help Democrats quickly enact the package because it would increase pressure on the leadership.

“I don’t think a public deadline would necessarily help,” Kaine added. “We all feel like it’s coming to a decision point. I don’t know that announcing a public deadline would really get [the White House] anything and it might cause some people to get their hackles up.”

Democrat infighting has been a key reason Democrats are rushed to pass the measure before 2022. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) told Politico Democrat infighting over the package has wasted valuable time.

“It’s going to require a lot more time by a lot of us, the president, the vice president, every member of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, but I think we’ll get there,” he said.

The Democrat infighting has also delayed the passage of the routine National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) since September, further jamming the legislative calendar. Democrats attempted to pass the NDAA in December but have been unsuccessful due to Republican amendments.

To free up calendar space for the reconciliation package, Democrats’ newly hatched plan is to reportedly combine the NDAA with the debt ceiling provision. The debt ceiling must be increased as soon as December 15.

Democrats hope that if they can pass both imperative provisions in the coming weeks, the reconciliation package could be enacted into law by January 1, 2022.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.

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Dem Sen. Casey: Lives ‘Depend Upon’ Passing Another COVID Bill Before 2021

Dem Sen. Casey: Lives ‘Depend Upon’ Passing Another COVID Bill Before 2021

During Friday’s Democratic Weekly Address, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) stated that the “lives of our grandparents, our parents, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends depend upon passage” of another coronavirus bill by the end of the year.

“Hello, I’m Senator Bob Casey.

This week our nation has lost over 1,000 Americans a day to COVID-19, as daily case counts have climbed above 150,000.

We mourn those we’ve lost and pray for those still suffering, and their families.

However, prayers and condolences are insufficient. The United States Senate must act.

In May, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Heroes Act in order to contain the virus and help Americans suffering from the virus.

The Heroes Act took a range of steps we desperately need, including providing direct relief to workers and families, increasing our testing capacity and helping small businesses stay afloat.

For all these months, this vital legislation has collected dust in the Senate because Majority Leader McConnell refuses to bring it to the floor for a vote.

Instead of providing real help to all Americans, Republicans in the Senate have been focused on broad corporate immunity, which would put more Americans at risk and do nothing to contain COVID-19.

Like President Trump, Senate Republicans are in denial about the severity of the pandemic and in denial about the result of the presidential election.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election and are now President-elect and Vice President-elect. They have called for our nation to come together during this time and confront our common challenges, especially the public health crisis and the jobs crisis.

Senate Republicans should stop genuflecting to the current president and get to work on protecting our country.

We need a smooth transition so that the Biden-Harris Administration has the resources they need to confront the pandemic and the national security threats in the months ahead.

At a time when we’re losing more than 1,000 Americans a day to COVID-19, our nation can’t waste another day.

Recently, we’ve received good news about vaccines that we hope will be deemed safe and effective by the FDA.

In order to distribute those vaccine doses efficiently, contain the virus and help our nation build back better, the Trump Administration has an obligation, an obligation, to work with the Biden-Harris Transition.

It’s time for Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans to work with Democrats in the Senate to pass COVID-19 relief legislation that meets the needs of struggling small businesses and families who are out of work and who can’t pay rent or put food on the table.

It’s time to pass legislation that helps hospitals, nursing homes and home and community-based providers who are overrun by the virus. The lives of our grandparents, our parents, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends depend upon passage of a bill by the end of this year.

We need a bill now to help all Americans, and the Trump Administration must engage in an orderly transition.

Both of these actions will make a substantial difference in the fight against COVID-19, will save lives and livelihoods, and put our country on a stronger footing when a new administration takes office on January the 20th of next year.

Thank you for listening. May God bless you, your family and our country in this time of crisis.”

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In Pennsylvania, Undecided Voters Are Torn Between Faith And A Party That Was Once A Way Of Life

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA — Religion runs deep in eastern Pennsylvania. Through mountains and valleys, in once-thriving mining and factory towns, Catholic steeples dot low skylines. In smoky pool halls, Monday afternoon drinkers would rather talk about the Knights of Columbus than national politics. Man for man, they’re lifelong Democrats — or once thought so.

It’s common for American families to transmit political values from generation to generation, alongside religion, eye color, and heart disease. In eastern Pennsylvania, it’s not that simple. When working out how to vote, the issues and platform are important, but so is how dad voted, how grandma would have voted.

All of this comes into the booth with the people we spoke to, and for them, the Democratic Party isn’t just a choice, it’s the working-class, it’s the union, it’s the grandparents, and until some time recently they can’t quite put their fingers on, it was Catholic and it was pro-life. In 2020, they see full well that something is very wrong.

Just over an hour north of Philadelphia, the historic city of Bethlehem sits nestled into the Lehigh Valley. For nearly the whole of the 20th century, Bethlehem Steel was synonymous with American industry — and American power. Their factories built beams strong enough to raise the greatest buildings the world had ever seen, and during the Second World War, as much as 60 percent of the United States’ guns, 40 percent of her shells, and “one-fifth of the entire fleet.”

By 2003, cheap foreign imports combined with poor business strategies had shuttered 150 years of history. The trade deals can’t be blamed on any one man or party — both were responsible, but for decades no man but Ross Perot gained national traction running against them. Perot won nearly 21 percent of the vote, and in 2016 Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win here in nearly three decades.

McCarthy's Red Stag Pub in downtown Bethlehem, Pa. Christopher Bedford.

McCarthy's Red Stag Pub in downtown Bethlehem, Pa. Christopher Bedford.

Ivan Alicea is the assistant manager at McCarthy’s Red Stag Pub in historic downtown Bethlehem, where handsome lamp posts, neat brick sidewalks, and large pub windows warmly display a wall of whisky to passersby. “I’m a working-class, Catholic, pro-life Democrat,” he told us over beers, “and I don’t know how to vote.”

He echoes sentiments we’d heard before, over and over, up north in cities that were once booming mine towns but since lie forgotten. At 39, Alicea grew up when Bob Casey Sr. was governor. Casey, a Democrat who twice refused Republican invitations to defect, stood on three planks: Good and active government, the union, and the sacredness of innocent life.

Tormented by his party’s shift toward a pro-abortion stance, the observant Catholic fought alongside the Pennsylvania legislature against Planned Parenthood to institute a one-day waiting period, parental notification, husband notification, and a ban on partial-birth abortion — all of which were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court save the requirement women tell their husband beforehand.

When Republican Sen. John Heinz died in a plane crash, Casey appointed liberal Democrat Harris Wofford reportedly only after receiving Wofford’s pledge to defend Pennsylvania’s new abortion law. Once Wofford was in Washington, insider accounts say the two clashed a second time, with Casey threatening his first race to hold the seat if Wofford didn’t push the defense of life. And in 1992, Casey was barred from a speaking slot at the 1992 Democratic convention over his intent to force the abortion debate on the Democratic National Convention.

“Yes!” Alicea replied when asked about the elder Casey. “Exactly! When I grew up, we were Bob Casey Democrats… My wife told me, ‘It sounds like you’re going to the other side, but I don’t know what my side is anymore.”

That makes sense, because the Democratic Party has changed, growing so deeply intolerant of abortion opponents that their funding can be cut off and they are left vulnerable to pro-abortion primaries. Sen. Kamala Harris, Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate, is the most publicly anti-Catholic major-ticket candidate in modern political history, and is certain to wield outsized influence over a fading Biden. While America’s Catholic bishops — hardly a political force since their silence when John F. Kennedy promised voters his Catholic values would have no impact on his governance — are silent on this frightening shift in the Democratic Party, priests with the courage to speak out have garnered national support over 1.1 million views on YouTube.

At the same time, a Republican Party wedded to corporate tax breaks, free trade, and anti-union policies has been overtaken by a president committed to fighting the culture wars, bringing industry back to the country through whatever trade measures are necessary, and winning the support of unions put in last place by Democratic environmentalists and open-border advocates.

And the shift is making headways: When the Republican chairwoman of Bethlehem’s Northampton County set up a voter-registration booth at a demolition derby, she told us, she gained more than 2,000 signatures, including a number who wanted to register for “the Trump Party.” Back up north in Luzerne County, a Biden rally last weekend was surrounded by tailgating, parading Trump supporters waving the blue flags of his campaign.

Luzerne’s Valeria Price, 37, said she’s haunted by her grandmother’s intent to vote Republican for the first time in 2016 — not because she was going to leave the party she and her husband, once a local Democratic councilman, had loyally supported all their lives, but because Price didn’t ask her why she was leaving before she passed. “Who is my party?” Price asked when we stopped by the newsstand where she works the register.

It’s an amazing thing to see: Party loyalty that runs so deep — and is connected to so many past battles — voters struggle with an identity crisis when confronted with the reality that the Democratic Party has long left Mass-attending Catholic workers behind. The decisions these men and women come to will decide how the state votes on Tuesday — and will help decide the next four years of American politics.

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Report: Democrats Growing More Anxious in Pennsylvania About ‘Late Shift’ Towards Trump

Democrats are anxious about Pennsylvania and a “potential late shift” towards President Donald Trump that could threaten their narrow lead, according to the Washington Post on Sunday.

The concern was embodied in what the Post called a “last-minute, two-day blitz” for Biden in the state, as Trump held four rallies in Pennsylvania on Saturday. The paper reported:

Most Democrats still believe Biden will capture Pennsylvania, and he maintains a modest polling lead there, but their confidence has eroded in recent weeks with emerging signs of a tightening contest in the state, according to elected officials, strategists and party activists. Both sides believe the outcome in Pennsylvania will be crucial in determining who wins the White House.

Democrats are worried for a variety of reasons, the paper reported. They are worried about problems with mail-in balloting, which Democrats heavily encouraged in recent weeks. They are worried about a “voter surge” in so-called “White, rural areas” favorable to Trump and signs of a lower-than-anticipated turnout among the Democratic base.

They are also reportedly nervous about alleged GOP efforts to place limits on voting. They “cringe” at the recent looting and violence in Philadelphia, which they worry will make Biden look weak on crime and hostile to police.

They also reportedly have “lingering concerns” about Biden’s comments on oil and gas. At the final presidential debate, Biden declared he would end the oil industry. When Trump asked Biden at the debate if he would “close down the oil industry,” Biden responded, “I would transition from the oil industry, yes.”

US President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pennsylvania on October 31, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pennsylvania on October 31, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A Democrat strategist, Neil Oxman, told the newspaper he is worried Trump’s base “will come out just a little bit stronger than our base.”

Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) also told the paper, “The president has a very strong, sturdy base here, and what he’s doing is juicing turnout in those small counties.”

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) said his biggest worry is about ballot issues. Democrats are worried about disqualified ballots if voters do not return them correctly. Democrats had been pushing vote by mail due to the pandemic, but now, Democrats are encouraging voters to drop them off in person.

“I am absolutely convinced that we have a lot of enthusiasm, too, on our side,” Fetterman told the Post. “But there’s a lot of factors you can’t extrapolate into a poll that are absolutely significantly in play in Pennsylvania.”

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

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