Biden's infastructure deal proves bipartisanship can't deliver

For a moment last week, President Joe Biden’s vision of a dealmaking, bipartisan Senate that gets big things done for the American people looked like it could soon become reality. With Biden’s announcement that Democrats and Republicans “have a deal” on infrastructure, it seemed both sides in Washington, DC, were on the verge of coming together to pass a large bill — one that would not only help rebuild America’s roads and bridges but also, potentially, move to tackle climate change, expand access to broadband internet, and remove lead from drinking water.


Last week’s news was about a $1 trillion deal that some Senate Democrats and Republicans are working to get through the 60-vote threshold required overcome the filibuster. But, as Biden has said, Democrats are also working on another measure, ranging anywhere from $2 trillion to $6 trillion, that could pass Congress with only Democratic support by using the reconciliation process. Biden is promising and working toward bipartisanship but already planning to sign a partisan bill to fill the void the bipartisan measure leaves in place.


Meanwhile, the rest of Biden’s agenda, from voting rights to gun control, now looks very unlikely to get anywhere in Congress. If lawmakers can barely achieve a bipartisan moment with infrastructure spending — which once was, as Biden noted last week, a common source of bipartisan consensus — it’s unlikely more contentious legislation stands a chance.

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