Senate Allies Come To the Aid of the Unbreakable Nine

The Unbreakable Nine are getting a bicameral boost.

Axios reports that Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), “the two moderates who’ve stirred the biggest frustrations and held the most sway in their party over the infrastructure negotiations, are helping allies in the House to stake out — and defend — their centrist position,” offering “encouragement and advice on how to negotiate with the White House and congressional leadership.”

Axios also highlights the new national No Labels cable ad giving “some air cover to the nine lawmakers.”

The Unbreakable Nine want a clean vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill as soon as possible, and Punchbowl says “there’ll be as many as two dozen House Republicans who cross the aisle to support” it if it is not linked to the $3.5 trillion social spending and climate bill. House Minority Leader McCarthy “has suggested Republicans should oppose both, but depending on his colleagues, he may have to shift his tune and say it’s a vote of conscience — meaning GOP lawmakers can vote how they wish without guidance from the leadership.”

Amid the political machinations in Washington, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the bipartisan bill means real progress for real people. It would be:

·       The largest investment in public transit in U.S. history

·       The largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak was created a half-century ago

·       The largest investment in bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system

·       The largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in U.S. history

·       The largest investment in clean energy transmission in U.S. history

In a must-read feature, the WaPo examines 10 essential projects from across the country that would get vital funding under the bill. After “years of neglect and underfunding,” the paper says, these projects “show what’s at stake for the nation’s roads, bridges, ports and rails.” The projects include:

·       Highway upgrades in Colorado

·       An airport expansion in North Carolina

·       Bridge repairs in the Midwest

·       Dam repairs in Michigan

·       High-speed rail in California

Voters and legislators of both parties agree that these are things the nation desperately needs — and the Unbreakable Nine are fighting to get them going now, not months from now. As House Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) told MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, “It’s a great once-in-a-century opportunity to move forward here, and we should do what the Senate did — vote first on infrastructure, and then move immediately to begin considering reconciliation.”



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