You may have seen a movie in which two of the characters play a game of “chicken” with their cars: in this test of nerves, they drive straight at each other; the first to swerve out of the way is the chicken and loses.
I’ve also heard the way to win at “chicken” is, once you’ve started, rip off your steering wheel and let the other guy see you throw it away. Now he knows you can’t swerve.
Lately, Washington D.C. is littered with steering wheels.
Moderate Democrats in the House have demanded the $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill be passed, or they won’t vote for the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act.
Progressive Democrats in the House are driving straight at the moderates, asserting they won’t vote for the infrastructure bill unless Build Back Better, which they think should be at least $3.5 trillion, is passed first.
In the Senate, Joe Manchin (D-WV) won’t vote for Build Back Better unless it’s essentially cut in half. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) plainly stated she doesn’t like the bill’s corporate tax increases.
Republicans in both houses support the infrastructure bill but will not provide a single vote for Build Back Better.
Regarding the debt ceiling, did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) swerve by delivering the votes to pass a temporary increase until December, or, having announced he won’t do it again, did he give Democrats more time, and reason, to drive into one another?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is talking to both factions in her caucus, desperately trying to duct tape at least one steering wheel back on, but that’s hard to do in a moving car.
While there hasn’t been much media coverage the last few days, the sound of screeching wheels can be heard from the Capitol dome.