Is 2022 a lost year for the Democrats?

By W. James Antle III, The Week

Democrats find themselves wishing for a happy New Year after 2021 sputtered to a disappointing conclusion with their sprawling climate and social welfare proposal not keeping up the legislative momentum by also reaching President Biden’s desk. But it’s not clear things will get any easier.

The White House clearly hopes Build Back Better can be revived next year and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has pledged to bring it to a vote. It now seems just as likely, however, that either Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will remain dug in (he does represent a state where Biden won just under 29.7 percent of the vote), or progressives who feel burned by his defection will not be enthused by any concessions that can secure his vote.

So even if Democrats do pass something, it could be a letdown to activists who thought a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill was the compromise. And there’s no guarantee that they pass anything. Then, when they move on to tackling the issue of voting rights — or, as their critics put it, a federal election overhaul that will weaken voting integrity — they will have to get Republicans on board, or the usual suspects in their own caucus to go along with weakening or eliminating the filibuster.


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