Progressives' optimism for large reforms dwindles

Asia's Tech News Daily

Progressives' optimism for large reforms dwindles
© Getty Images House progressives at the White House

Progressives’ optimism for seismic social change has dwindled this week as lawmakers stare down a stagnant Congress and increasingly impatient White House.

From voting rights and immigration reform to criminal justice and student debt relief, Democrats say the party is at risk of seeing its majorities evaporate by failing to deliver on public promises, a projection that has prompted fear and finger-pointing among President Biden’s most loyal base.

“We showed up and risked arrest to try and get the White House to do more on the filibuster,” said Jana Morgan, director of the Declaration for American Democracy, a grassroots progressive network.

“On Tuesday, I was arrested with 24 other people. We were willing to put our bodies on the line because this issue is fundamental and foundational to the continued success of our country,” she said.

The crux of the issue for many is voting rights.

Biden administration officials and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have prioritized legislation to protect one of the country’s most basic principles with uneven attention. When a critical bill is up for a vote, Democrats rally around its passage, waxing philosophical about its importance to the fragile fate of the nation.

But when Senate Republicans vote against any attempts to debate the measure, like they did this week with the Freedom to Vote Act, the discussion usually falls to the back of the burner.

All the while, advocates keep screaming in unison about getting something done.

“America is backsliding into autocracy,” Morgan said. “This is not just ‘an issue.’ It is the issue.”

“What we need is to know that there is a real considered strategy in place on this and a real determination from the White House to do whatever it takes,” she said.

Republicans’ veto of the latest voting rights bill wasn’t the first time they have stopped Democrats’ plans. Earlier GOP-led attempts to stall legislation have been equally effective and Democrats accuse their Republican colleagues of promoting voting restrictions in a bid to help them win elections.

Democrats widely worry that a crucial part of democracy will disintegrate if legislation is not passed to protect it.

On paper, Biden is sympathetic to that sentiment. On Wednesday, he released a statement indicating that upholding voting rights is an “urgent” matter to his administration and “the very soul of America is at stake.”

And on Thursday night, he took his boldest step yet to acknowledge that filibuster reform to pass voting bills is something he could live with. Answering a question by CNN moderator Anderson Cooper during a primetime town hall about whether he would contemplate “fundamentally altering” the practice, Biden indicated he was open to that “and maybe more.”

But Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have crimped the only realistic way to pass voting legislation in an evenly divided Senate with no Republican support, vocally opposing getting rid of the filibuster.

Activists have long contended that Biden, a veteran of the Senate, is well aware of that predicament and want to see him get even more involved than his posture this week. If that means twisting Manchin and Sinema’s arms behind-the-scenes, they say, so be it.

“It’s certainly not where I’d like for it to be,” said Martin Luther King III, a human rights activist. “We’d all like for these provisions, these bills to pass. But at least we still have hope.”

Enthusiasm around the president’s massive budget package has also dimmed as talk of trimming crucial elements continues into another week. The left’s once vibrant momentum to move the country out of former President Trump’s shadow has been met with a new cynicism that the administration and Congress might mess it all up.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that her caucus was close to reaching a “framework” on reconciliation after days of negotiations past her initial deadline. Progressives have insisted that certain provisions like extending the child tax credit and keeping a strong paid family leave component intact were important as lawmakers discuss what to pare down.

But Manchin didn’t see a quick end to the contentious conversations.

“This is not going to happen anytime soon, guys,” the West Virginia Democrat told huddled reporters.

As heated talks continue between the two centrist holdouts in the Senate and Biden administration officials, progressives are becoming more exasperated with the state of affairs.

“We have a once in a generation chance to meet a moment of crisis that working people are in,” said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which represents millions of workers nationally.

Henry told The Hill that her union is now focused largely on mobilizing around some of Biden’s top ticket items, particularly on immigration reform and climate justice.

“We are determined and fighting like hell,” she said when asked to assess the mood of her members over the staleness in Washington.

“We’re fighting alongside the immigration movement on trying to make progress for a path to citizenship for immigrants, we are fighting alongside the climate movement for addressing the existential threat that impact our members and a lot of low income working people who are on the frontlines of these weather disasters,” Henry said.

One of the biggest areas of frustration continues to revolve around climate, and the anger has only escalated in recent days as Manchin has drawn a red line over the issue that directly impacts his state’s coal-centric economy. The moderate senator has said that he does not support major parts of Biden’s climate agenda, infuriating both climate hawks and liberal lawmakers who see rising temperatures as a massive threat.

Biden is again one of the Democrats in that camp. He has regularly called for expansive measures to address rising temperatures, and on Thursday, senior administration officials acknowledged on a call with reporters that “no country will be spared from the challenges directly related to climate change.”

The pressure comes ahead of a critical trip abroad for Biden to address world leaders at a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

Other reforms that were once top of the agenda have also been shuffled aside, with some seeming to drop off completely.

Early into his administration, advocates pushed Biden to cancel a portion of student loan debt for the millions of people affected by it. The move had some high-profile backers, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who urged the administration to wipe out upwards of $50,000 per student.

Months later, that debate has all but disappeared and is in a bucket with other policies that many Democrats believe would be nice to have, but not essential, like a federal minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, which didn’t pass Congress, and certain criminal justice reforms.

“There’s a dissonance with the pronouncements that were made during the campaign,” said Donald Cameron Clark, Jr., a lawyer and criminal justice activist. “They are frustrated if not handcuffed by the political realities of Congress.”

“What they then need to turn to and need to use more robustly than they have to date are the executive options,” Clark said, referring to certain federal traction to reform the death penalty.

“It’s a matter of capacity and priorities.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Shahid Kapoor opens up on his horrifying injury on Jersey sets, feared he wouldn't look the same!

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Bollywood actor Shahid Kapoor recently surprised his fans when he spoke to them on Instagram live, answering their pressing questions, singing songs and ... Read more »

I'm busy embracing opportunities with my entire being: Ravi Dubey

© Provided by Hindustan Times Actor Ravi Dubey on his visit to Lucknow (Deep Saxena/HT) Actor-producer Ravi Dubey feels each platform has its own charm and no content can define ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif wedding: Karan Johar and Farah Khan to choreograph sangeet?

Karan Johar and Farah Khan will be choreographing the sangeet ceremony of Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif. Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif’s wedding are hardly a few days away, according ... Read more »

My no-fly trip to Corsica: a drive across France is part of the adventure

Photograph: Creative Nature/Getty Images It takes a while to register the bullet holes that decorate each signpost along the high road out of Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital. Maybe it’s the distracting ... Read more »

Macau arrests 11 people for alleged illegal gambling and money laundering

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Macau junket operator Suncity Group is seen at a gaming fair in Macau HONG KONG (Reuters) – Macau police have arrested 11 people in an ... Read more »

PIC: Nakuul Mehta shares screenshot as he misses wife Janki & son Sufi; Says ‘Ghar aaja pardesi feelz'

Nakuul Mehta is having busy days these days. The actor is currently seen in the romantic drama Bade Achhe Lagte Hain 2 opposite Disha Parma. Viewers are liking the show ... Read more »

Nikki Tamboli Comes Out in Support of Shamita Shetty, Takes a Dig at Wildcard Contestants

© Provided by News18 Ever since Bigg Boss OTT, actress Shamita Shetty has been called dominating by her housemates and by the audiences. The same continued in Bigg Boss 15, ... Read more »

Acharya Teaser OUT: Ram Charan's role as Siddha in Chiranjeevi starrer is fierce and will give you goosebumps

© Provided by Pinkvilla Acharya starring megastar Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan is one of the much-anticipated films that is releasing on February 4, 2022. Adding excitement to the ongoing buzz ... Read more »

Man, 53, arrested over ‘murder' of woman at home in Gloucestershire

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a woman was found dead at a house. Cops were called to a home in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, at about 12.30am ... Read more »

Royal Mint reveal 50 pence coin for Queen's Platinum Jubilee

© Provided by The Scotsman The Royal Mint has revealed a 50 pence coin in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The coin, the first 50p to be produced with ... Read more »

Get this drink-elevating can opener, on sale now for Black Friday

New York Post Store To be a true host with the most, you need to make sure you’re keeping the beer flowing like a stream at any shindig. And if ... Read more »

Inside Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury's winter wonderland Christmas makeover in their new flat after break-in

MOLLY-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury have given fans a look at their incredible winter wonderland makeover in their new home ahead of the festive season. The video comes shortly after ... Read more »

Katie Price and Carl Woods reveal they are ‘living out of suitcases' as their three dogs cause chaos in hotel room

KATIE Price and Carl Woods have revealed that they are “living out of suitcases” with their three dogs. The former glamour model, 43, and fiancé Carl, 32, shared a clip ... Read more »

Strictly fans hit out at Tess Daly for ‘condescending' comment to Rhys Stephenson as he breaks down in tears

STRICTLY Come Dancing host Tess Daly faced a backlash last night after a “condescending” comment towards Rhys Stephenson. Tess, 52, consoled the CBeebies presenter, 26, when he broke down in ... Read more »

BBC EastEnders' Maisie Smith posts snap in 'stunning' leather outfit and fans are obsessed

EastEnders star Maisie Smith has sent fans into a frenzy with her latest post on social media. The soap and Strictly star has a dedicated following and regularly shares snaps ... Read more »

Cricket-India set New Zealand 284 to win Kanpur test

(Corrects day to Sunday, not Friday) NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India declared their second innings on 234-7, setting New Zealand a victory target of 284 in the opening test in ... Read more »

We were broken when we lost our babies – but dads are too often forgotten

TWO blokes who both tragically lost babies found a way to let dads express their grief – through pink socks. Lewis Keywood met James Fryer at the gym and they ... Read more »

Books written by couple after son's sudden death set for one million sales

A series of books written by a couple following the sudden death of their son has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. © Provided by PA Media Adam Bennett’s sudden death ... Read more »

Omicron variant may lead to further travel restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon warns

More restrictions on travel may be needed to combat the threat posed by the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, Nicola Sturgeon has warned. The First Minister spoke out as new ... Read more »

Gunmen attack Libyan court, blocking Kadhafi son's appeal to run for president

Libya's unity government has condemned an attack on a court which prevented Saif al-Islam Kadhafi from lodging an appeal against disqualification from December's presidential election. The polls slated for 24 ... Read more »

UAE National Day: Emirates Post to issue 4 unique NFT stamps

Emirates Post Group (EPG) on Sunday announced that it would issue non-fungible token (NFT) stamps in commemoration of the UAE National Day 2021, becoming the first in the region to ... Read more »

Scotland reveals St Andrew's Day celebration plans for Expo 2020 Dubai

© Provided by The National Scotland will celebrate its national day, St Andrew’s Day, on November 30 at Expo 2020 Dubai. Reuters Scotland will celebrate its national day, St Andrew’s ... Read more »

4,239 kes Covid-19, 3 kluster baharu

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Jumlah keseluruhan kes jangkitan Covid-19 di negara kini mencecah angka 2,623,816 kes setakat ini. (Gambar Bernama) PETALING JAYA: Kementerian Kesihatan melaporkan 4,239 kes baharu ... Read more »

Wakil NGO dakwa ahli MIC ‘buka seluar', lempar kata kesat, polis siasat

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Ketua Polis Daerah Sungai Siput, Mohd Khaizam Ahmad Shahabudin, berkata wanita terbabit mendakwa seorang ahli MIC mengeluarkan kata-kata tidak sopan dan membuka seluarnya dalam ... Read more »

HP Guv stresses for documentation of medicinal plants

© Provided by The Statesman HP Guv stresses for documentation of medicinal plants Himachal Pradesh Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Sunday stressed documentation of the medicinal plants found in the ... Read more »

Important Update! Bommai Govt Issues Fresh Guidelines For Those Travelling To Karnataka From These States

© Surabhi Shaurya | India.com News Desk The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on November 24, 2021. Bengaluru: The Basavaraj Bommai-led Karnataka government on Sunday ... Read more »

Two Bangladesh nationals held from passenger bus in Assam's Karimganj

Two Bangladesh nationals were apprehended by the police from a Guwahati-bound passenger bus in Assam’s Karimganj district along the Assam-Tripura border on Saturday night. According to Karimganj district police, the ... Read more »

Omicron: Govt to Review SoP on Testing of Incoming Passengers from ‘At Risk' Countries

© Provided by News18 Omicron: Govt to Review SoP on Testing of Incoming Passengers from ‘At Risk’ Countries A day after PM Modi reviewed the situation related to Covid-19 and ... Read more »

From Spotify to Gaana, PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat Now on major audio and music platforms

© Provided by Firstpost From Spotify to Gaana, PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat Now on major audio and music platforms Not just on radio, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly ‘Mann ... Read more »

Israel banning entry to foreigners as Fauci urges Americans to take new vairant seriously

"You don’t want to frighten the American public but when something occurs that you need to take seriously, you take it seriously," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. Read more »

JEE Main 2022: NTA likely to begin registration process SOON at jeemain.nta.nic.in - Check eligibility, other details

© Provided by DNA National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct JEE Main 2022 exam in a few months. The registration process for JEE Main 2022 is expected to begin soon ... Read more »

Global bubble BURSTS: Evergrande set for collapse causing 'great reset' worse than 2008

China Evergrande faces £221billion of debt, and one expert has claimed the company’s collapse could spark the fall of the financial system. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr Marco Metzler from Deutsche ... Read more »

Eatery with 'rudest staff in Aus' opening in Brisbane. It's name - Karen's Diner

© Provided by CapeTalk – A restaurant with “the rudest staff in Australia” is set to open in Brisbane – The idea is also that the customers can vent their ... Read more »

French minister heads to Caribbean territories to defuse tensions

© Reuters/RICARDO ARDUENGO Unrest triggered by COVID-19 curbs spreads to Martinique By John Irish PARIS (Reuters) – France’s minister for overseas territories will hold crisis talks on its Caribbean islands ... Read more »

Australian government vows to unmask online trolls

Australia’s government said Sunday it will introduce legislation to unmask online trolls, and hold social media giants like Facebook and Twitter responsible for identifying them. © NICOLAS ASFOURI Australia’s government ... Read more »

Aufgezeichnete Audiobotschaft: Taliban-Chef wendet sich erstmals an Bürger

Knapp drei Monate nach seiner Ernennung hat sich der amtierende Regierungschef der Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Achund, erstmals an die Bürger Afghanistans gewandt. Seine aufgezeichnete Audiobotschaft wurde am Samstagabend im ... Read more »

Enttäuschender WM-Start – Unihockey-Frauen verlieren gegen Tschechien

Das erste Gruppenspiel an der WM in Uppsala verlieren die Schweizerinnen trotz einem überzeugendem letzten Drittel gegen Tschechien mit 2:5. © Claudio Schwarz/swiss unihockey Die Schweizerinnen unterliegen Tschechien im WM-Auftaktsspiel. ... Read more »

Transparenz bei Omikron: US-Aussenminister lobt Südafrika als «Vorbild für ganze Welt»

Die US-Regierung hat Südafrikas Handeln im Zusammenhang mit der Omikron-Variante als vorbildlich gelobt. © Bereitgestellt von Blick Antony Blinken, Aussenminister der USA, spricht während einer Veranstaltung. Foto: Andrew Harnik/AP Pool/dpa ... Read more »

Berner Polizei trifft Schutzmassnahmen rund ums Bundeshaus

© KEYSTONE/PETER SCHNEIDER Die Kantonspolizei Bern hat am Sonntagvormittag Schutzmassnahmen rund um das Bundeshaus getroffen. Auf dem Bundesplatz wurde der Gitterzaun montiert, wie ein Reporter der Nachrichtenagentur Keystone-SDA berichtete. Auch ... Read more »

Ärmelkanal: Britische Innenministerin mahnt Paris zur Zusammenarbeit

© Keystone/PA Wire/Stefan Rousseau Die britische Innenministerin Priti Patel hat nach ihrer Ausladung zu einem internationalen Treffen in Calais zur Lage am Ärmelkanal zur Zusammenarbeit gemahnt. “Grossbritannien kann dieses Problem ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic