I was dismayed by The Sentinel’s editorial endorsement (“Take the good,” Aug. 13) of the attempt by a few moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives to pull a “bait and switch” with respect to the infrastructure and budget resolution bills.
Progressives in Congress engaged in good faith with infrastructure negotiations, on the understanding that it was to be part of a two-track legislative process. To sway the votes of a few Republicans, moderate Democratic negotiators in the Senate allowed the infrastructure bill to be larded up with corporate giveaways and “public-private partnerships,” which are almost always a bad deal for the public.
Meanwhile, priorities on the left — to do things like mitigate global warming, provide workers with affordable childcare, and make billionaires pay their fair share in taxes — were shifted into a separate budget resolution bill. This came with a commitment from all negotiators within the party that the budget resolution would be allowed to pass before the infrastructure bill went through.
Now that moderate Democrats have gotten the infrastructure bill they want, some in the House are trying to back out of the agreement through which it was obtained. They are seeking to pass this infrastructure bill that was written to please Republicans, while ensuring that all the progressive measures that were shifted to the budget resolution will never see the light of day.
This is extremely disrespectful to the progressive members of the Democratic coalition, without whom there would be no Democratic Congressional majority. Democrats won’t have an effective governing coalition if one side of the party can’t be trusted to live up to its commitments to the other.
A deal is a deal. Moderate House Democrats need to do the honorable thing and stand by the deal that was made.