NEWS AND OPINION:
The level of discord within the Democratic Party has escalated plenty in the last 48 hours. It must be making Republicans gleeful at this point. Let’s look at a brief and recent history.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her fellow Democrats on Monday that they must pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill this week before the $3.5 trillion massive reconciliation bill.
Sen. Bernard Sanders was not pleased with the edict, or the priority of one bill over the other.
“No infrastructure bill should pass without a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill. That is the agreement that was made and that is the agreement that must be kept. Physical infrastructure is important, but the needs of working families and combating climate change are more important,” the Vermont independent and self-described democratic socialist countered Tuesday.
Why is Mr. Sanders so concerned? The New York Times offers a hint — referring to the enormously pricey reconciliation bill as Mr. Sanders’ “legislative legacy.”
Others appear to agree.
“Bernie Sanders chairs the Senate Budget Committee, and just turned 80. He’s been in Congress for 30 years. His life’s work is socialism. He’s not going to give up his dream now. He’s holding his party and the country hostage. He’s saying you can’t have $1 trillion worth of infrastructure without another $3.5 trillion worth of social spending. It’s all or nothing,” said Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney, in a handy summary on Wednesday.
Meanwhile Our Revolution — a progressive, nonprofit political organization founded by Mr. Sanders in 2016 — is now in battle mode.
“Our Revolution stands with Bernie Sanders and the Progressive Caucus, and we’re holding protests outside the offices of corporate Democrats and running ads targeting them in their districts,” advised Paso Fabian, campaign director for the group, in an email shared with Inside the Beltway.
THE PARTISAN VACCINE GAP
If a COVID-19 vaccine for children under 12 becomes available, are parents eager to procure the protection for their offspring? Well, yes and no, when political leanings come into the picture.
“Parents’ readiness to have their child vaccinated varies based on their degree of worry about contracting the disease, their own vaccination status and their party identification,” reports Megan Brenan, a Gallup analyst.
Indeed, according to a new Gallup poll, 55% of U.S. parents with children under 12 would opt for the shot. That includes 21% of Republicans, 50% of independents and 83% of Democrats.
Meanwhile, another 82% of parents who are fully vaccinated would say yes to the vaccine — along with 1% of those who are unvaccinated and don’t plan to be. See more numbers in the Poll du Jour at column’s end.
YOUR BIDEN NUMBERS FOR TODAY
President Biden’s honeymoon in office has dwindled down to its last few moments.
“As President Joe Biden faces a critical moment for his agenda, Americans’ confidence in his handling of a range of issues is eroding, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds,” wrote Quinn Scanlan, who covers voting, campaigns and elections for the network.
“Compared to an August ABC News/Ipsos poll, public approval of how Biden is handling key issues — the pandemic, immigration and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, gun violence and even rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, the issue he’s pushing this week — is on the decline,” she said.
Ready for the numbers? Then here we go:
• 66% of U.S. adults disapprove of the way Mr. Biden is handling immigration and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border.
• 61% disapprove of the way Mr. Biden is handling the situation in Afghanistan.
• 60% disapprove of the way he is handling gun violence.
• 55% disapprove of the way he is handling crime.
• 48% disapprove of the way he is handling economic recovery.
• 44% disapprove of the way he is handling rebuilding U.S. infrastructure.
• 42% disapprove of the way he is handling the response to the coronavirus.
The ABC News/Ipsos poll of 1,101 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 24-26.
A SOCIALIST SCAM
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy offers his own reality check for Democrats who are obsessed with behemoth, expensive legislation.
“How bad is the Democrats’ deal to tax-and-spend $5 trillion? President Biden says: ‘No one making under $400,000 will see their federal taxes go up.’ Well, we know that’s just not true. In fact, under his plan, an average family who earns over $50,000 will actually see a tax increase starting in 2027,” Mr. McCarthy says in a snappy new video released Wednesday.
“But wait, I thought the Democrats wanted to tax the rich, and that the wealthy should pay their fair share. Turns out, that’s not exactly accurate either,” he continues.
“Say a family makes $800,000 a year. Not exactly who most of us would consider middle class. They could be eligible for $118,000 in tax breaks under the Democrat plan. And while they’re carving out tax loopholes for their donors in blue states,” Mr. McCarthy says, adding that the Democrats have also increased the deficit.
“Five trillion dollars would be the single most expensive piece of legislation in the history of the United States. This comes right as inflation is already surging across the country, making every paycheck you bring home worth a little less than the one before. Let’s call Democrats’ tax-and-spend plan what it is — a socialist scam,” he concludes.
POLL DU JOUR
• 21% of U.S. parents with children 18 years old and under are “very worried” their child will get COVID-19; 5% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 38% of Democrats agree.
• 32% overall are “somewhat worried” for their child; 19% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 44% of Democrats agree.
• 24% overall are “not too worried”; 32% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 13% of Democrats agree.
• 23% overall are “not worried at all”; 44% of Republicans, 27% of independents and 5% of Democrats agree.
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 802 U.S. parents with children under 18 conducted Sept. 13-19 and released Tuesday.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.
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