When you saw Joe Manchin on the news yesterday proclaiming that he would not vote to pass the Build Back Better Act that we have been working on for so many months, I’m sure that you were as angry as I was. I am not going to sugarcoat this or insult your intelligence by telling you that you didn’t vote or work hard enough and that everything will be fine. At the very least, this was a major failure by both the Democratic Leadership in Congress and President Biden.
Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, and President Biden promised the Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, the progressive movement, and the American people that if the Congressional Progressives ended their effort to keep Build Back Better and the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill linked together and passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, they would get 50 votes in the Senate and pass Build Back Better too. In all likelihood, their political miscalculation of trusting Senator Joe Manchin, one of the most corrupt and greedy senators in United States history, has cost us the ability to pass Build Back Better as we know it.
I understand many might feel hopeless right now. However, I want to share with you two pieces of information that offer a ray of hope as we deal with this difficult news moving forward. Try to remember that while the current version of Build Back Better is dead, there will be a reconciliation bill in the coming weeks that will address several of our progressive legislative priorities.
Progressive Senator Ron Wyden has released a new framework for the Build Back Better Bill which focuses on the following progressive policies: expanding the Child Tax Credit, Prescription Drug Affordability, and provisions to fight Climate Change. In spite of the Democratic leadership’s failure to deliver on their promises, all signs point to some version of Build Back Better passing early next year. This revised bill is still being written; as soon as I have information, I will share it. Then we can begin lobbying for our priorities. As soon as I have it, I will share the information with you so we can lobby for and get as many of our priorities in the final bill as possible. Please remember the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been and still is fighting hard to deliver for working people.
I realize at this point we should be deeply concerned about future elections and the implications from the possible results of those elections. It's easy to feel hopeless after witnessing a supposedly Democratic Senator on Fox news. But the lesson here is that we must all focus on electing more Progressives to Washington D.C. Throughout this entire process, elected Progressives like Jaime Raskin, AOC, Bernie Sanders, Pramila Jayapal, and all the other Congressional Progressives have fought tooth and nail to deliver for working people and get the Build Back Better Act to President Biden’s desk. It is the Blue Dog Democrats (Conservative Democrats) and the Republican Party funded by Special Interests groups who have worked around the clock to kill the Build Back Better bill and obstruct our progress. Regardless of that, we members of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus still have the power to change the system and return power to working families. By carefully vetting our endorsed candidates, the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus, with our endorsements from other political groups, can be instrumental in the election of progressive officials. Our Caucus isn’t a member of the “BlUe No MaTtEr WhO” group. Because every candidate we endorse will represent the movement as an elected Progressive, committed to progressive ideas, there will never be a Joe Manchin endorsed by us.
While there is much suffering in the world right now, we do have a golden opportunity in 2022. We are all tired of corrupt and greedy politicians selling out to billionaires and blocking progressive legislation. Let’s turn that anger and passion into action. The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus is the vehicle in which that action can be used to create the change we need. Have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and hope you will consider signing up to be part of the change coming in 2022. I truly believe change will come by supporting Heather Mizuer and the other progressive candidates that we will endorse in March. Looking forward to seeing you in 2022!