Democrats complain Republicans are “running out the clock” on infrastructure negotiations to potentially harm Democrats during the 2022 midterm elections.
President Joe Biden has continued negotiating with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and other congressional Republicans on a potential bipartisan deal to settle the matter. Republican support for infrastructure remains potentially critical to shore up support in the Senate for the proposal, given that Democrats have a 50-50 split majority in the Senate.
However, as the negotiations stall with little progress, some Democrats warn Republicans will string Democrats along to potentially harm Democrats’ House and Senate majorities during the 2022 midterms.
Jim Messina, Obama’s former deputy chief of staff, said not to “make that mistake again” by repeating the errors of Democrats’ negotiations with Republicans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.
“When you look back on my ACA days, it should’ve been apparent to us at the time. We waited too long,” he said.
One senior House progressive staffer warned the Biden administration could easily repeat the same mistakes of the Obama administration.
“Literally every time we have a conversation about bipartisanship, there’s someone in the White House saying they’ve all learned the lessons of the ACA,” the senior progressive aide said.
Although initial healthcare reform negotiations began as bipartisan early in the Obama administration, the talks dragged on, and eventually, the public opposed Obama’s landmark legislation.
Republicans transformed the Obamacare fight into a successful war to take back the House in 2010, picking up 63 seats.
Messina said that the comparison between the infrastructure negotiations and the Obamacare fight does not bode well for Democrats.
“The biggest thing is that they keep asking for more time. And they’re just running the clock. If you’re McConnell, he’s going to talk for as long as we want to talk, because he’s just trying to be an obstructionist,” the former Obama deputy chief of staff said.
Charlie Ellsworth, a legislative aide for former Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), said Republicans are taking a similar approach to the ACA fight by “dropping bread crumbs along the way to keep Democrats’ attention and try to run out the clock.”
“Every day that we’re participating in these so-called negotiations is a day we’re not legislating and getting a bill done to help working families and solve climate change,” Ellsworth added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.