Two columns on the negotiations over the radical budget plans of Pelosi, Biden and other leading Democrats. (To read the full columns, click the links embedded in the headlines.)

Entering crunch week, Pelosi doesn’t yet have the votes (Sept. 26): Congressional Democrats can’t quite cobble together the votes to pass a mammoth $3.5 billion-plus social spending bill, which for now means the political system is working to reject dangerous radicalism.

The few remaining Democrats who at least claim to lean to the center are in a game of legislative chicken with the more numerous left wing of the party, with the would-be centrists wanting to pass a separate $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill before being asked to commit to a final social spending package. The extreme Left wants just the opposite, saying they will block the infrastructure bill until they have a commitment on social spending….

On the Sunday talk shows, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and radical Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state both acknowledged, either explicitly (Jayapal) or in effect (Pelosi), that the votes aren’t there yet. Pelosi said it is “self-evident” that the final social spending number will be something less than the $3.5 trillion target.

The would-be centrists should hold out….

Senator Sinema can outplay the radicals (Sept. 20): Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona is reminding her party’s leaders that the less liberal part of the Democratic congressional caucus, small as it may be, still holds a strong legislative poker hand.

The likely result will be more of a public relations win than a substantive one for the purported centrists, while the taxpayers still lose and the party’s left wing whines while actually winning more than it should.

By numerous reports, Sinema is leading the Democratic semi-centrists in an ultimatum to the White House: Pass the pending, bloated, $1 trillion “infrastructure” bill by Sept. 27 or forgo any chance of passing anything in the ballpark of the even more monstrously bloated $3.5 trillion social spending bill pushed by the party’s left wing. Sinema, backed by a small group of centrist House Democrats, is also reportedly against the part of the social spending bill that would change the Medicare prescription drug program….



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