A possible compromise infrastructure deal is in the works, as eleven Republican Senators seem to be on board.
This includes the following Senators:
Richard Burr of North Carolina
Bill Cassidy of Louisiana
Susan Collins of Maine
Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
Jerry Moran of Kansas
Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Rob Portman of Ohio
Mitt Romney of Utah
Mike Rounds of South Dakota
Thom Tillis of North Carolina
Todd Young of Indiana
Some of this group also seem willing to work on a voting rights bill, along with Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Dan Sullivan of Alasks.
While this is encouraging, the question is whether all Democrats will be willing to work on compromise legislation on both bills, and that seems a quandary without easy solution.
West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is a real problem for the Democrats in the US Senate.
While he is a Democrat, and has supported all actions so far by President Joe Biden in legislative votes, he has now made it clear that he will NOT work to end or modify the Senate filibuster. This despite great disappointment that ten Republican Senators could not be found to support the creation of the January 6 Commission.
Manchin is a conservative who, if he was to retire or lose support of his voters, he would be most likely replaced by a Republican, so this creates an impossible situation in a 50-50 Senate.
This mess creates great problems for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and could do great damage to the Joe Biden agenda, in a way similar to what Barack Obama faced after the first two years of his Presidency.
The ability to have a voting rights law to overcome the actions by many Republican legislatures to limit voting rights for racial minorities will be hampered, as well as a serious infrastructure legislation, gun control legislation, immigration reform, and so much else.
“Reconciliation”, which would not require 60 votes, might be possible, but is based on some bipartisan support, which is far from guaranteed.
The US Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that “Reconciliation”, the idea that the Senate can pass legislation by a 51 vote margin, is allowable, already for the COVID 19 legislation that was passed in March, but also now other Joe Biden initiatives, including the infrastructure legislation, and hopefully, other important Biden administration initiatives.
This is a true blessing, and might mean that the idea of ending the filibuster might not need to occur on much important legislation.
This makes it possible for Joe Biden to be more “liberal” and “progressive” a President than any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson six decades ago.
For all the good that Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama did while in office, Joe Biden MIGHT indeed surpass them in accomplishments!
The future looks very exciting, but there is a long way to go, but the hope is there!