For the last month, at least, we’ve been reporting each week on the fate of attempts by the slim Democratic majorities in Congress to put together legislation that would improve Medicare in one way or another.
It is expected that few, if any, Republicans will support any legislation that would accomplish that, so Democrats have to round up enough votes in their own party to get the job done.
Anyone who’s been watching the national news at all knows by now that the two biggest holdouts among the Democrats are Senators Joe Manchin (W. Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.). They are pitted against the more progressive members in the Senate including Bernie Sanders (Vt.), as well as nearly half of the Democratic members of the House who are members of the Progressive Caucus.
President Biden got personally involved two weeks ago when he went to Capitol Hill to meet with both sides. However, the stalemate remains.
Last week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that she will try to get things moving and get a bill passed by the end of this month, which means there will need to be major progress this week if that goal is to be met. If the legislation gets pushed into November, things will really start to stack up because they still face the daunting task of passing funding for the federal government for the remainder FY 2022 and raising the debt ceiling, both which must happen by Dec. 3.
No doubt many of the Democrats in Congress are wondering why being in the majority is so hard.