One legislative logjam breaks; others await | 2021-11-25


WASHINGTON — Two contradictory forces have tied up legislation in Washington for most of 2021. One is centripetal, pulling policy toward a bipartisan center, represented best by the physical infrastructure bill that the Senate passed in August but that has languished in the House. The other is centrifugal, pulling policy toward the respective political parties’ extremes.

On the Democrat side, it has been the President’s Build Back Better (BBB) bill and its $3.5 trillion price tag. On the Republican side, it is their refusal to help pass new debt limit legislation, even though they bear some responsibility for the deficit and know that a United States default is not an option.

The logjam these contradictory forces created may have begun to break up on Nov. 5, when the House passed the physical infrastructure bill — estimated at $1 trillion of spending on roads, bridges,…

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