Despite their attacks on Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Kyrsten Silema (D-Ariz.), for opposing certain aspects of the “Build Back Better”, bill last year, members of the far-left “Squad”, seem less united over the Democrats’ taxation and social spending legislation.
Only two members from the “Squad”, who are also members of the Senate, have expressed their support for the scaled-back bill (officially known as the Inflation Reduction Act), while the remaining four members continue to avoid any mention of it after its passage through the Senate in a party line vote on Sunday.
Manchin, D-N.Y., had previously announced that he wouldn’t support the original bill. However, he participated in back-room discussions with Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and reached a compromise last month on the current bill.
Sinema supported the bill after lobbying successfully for the elimination of a provision that targeted billionaires and would have closed the carried-interest tax “loophole”, which wealthy individuals use to get their taxes.
“Is it perfect?” No. No.
She said, “But the bill represents a huge step forward for Minnesotans” and that she was proud of the role played by the Congressional Progressive Caucus in pushing for the best deal in the face conservative resistance.
Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), joined Omar in celebrating the bill as a result of progressives “fighting to” for the original “Build back Better” legislation. However, he also noted that he was unhappy about some of its provisions.
None of the four remaining members of the “Squad”, Reps. AyannaPressley, D.Mass., Alexandria OcasioCortez (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and RashidaTlaib, D.Mich, has stated which way they may be leaning on this bill. This raises questions about whether they are satisfied with the changes made in the deal between Schumer and Manchin.
This uncertainty about how the remaining members of the “Squad” could vote is starkly different to their previous attacks on Sinema and Manchin when the “Build back Better” bill was rejected by the Senate last year.
Tlaib called the two “corporate Democrats”, while Ocasio Cortez called Sinema “obstructionist” as well as calling Sinema an “obstructionist”. Ocasio Cortez incorrectly claimed that she represented more people than Manchin in West Virginia in her New York City District. Bowman called them “White nationalists,” while Bush said they paid more attention to their political donors that everyday Americans. Pressley also accused them of blocking President Biden’s agenda.
Democrats cannot afford to lose just a few votes to the Republicans who will most likely oppose the bill. This raises the stakes for the decisions of any remaining “Squad” members, whether they will be joining their fellow Democrats or becoming the new face of those “obstructing” the Biden agenda.
The House plans to vote on Friday.