NEW You can now listen to Fox News articles!
"The Crucible " by Arthur Miller, "The Seagull " by Anton Chekhov and "Man and Superman " by George Bernard Shaw all have something in common with the democrates '$ 1.75 trillion social spending bill :
These are all dramas in four acts.
Act 1 for Democrats has been long. It went back to September when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Suggested they pass the social spending bill by the end of the month. After weeks of legislative and political delirium, Pelosi finally succeeded in pushing this bill through the House with only one Democratic defection: Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine.
"The biggest obstacle was getting there," Pelosi said at a press conference shortly after the vote closed. "The biggest challenge was to meet President Biden's vision.
The passage of the project Act in the House was undoubtedly act one. But one can quibble with Pelosi's assessment that the passage of the measure in the House wasthe hardest. They had to vote on the size and scope of the bill. Pelosi tried to control the Liberal and Conservative wings of his caucus who had different goals for the bill. And that does not mean anything about managing expectations regarding the passage of the infrastructure bill earlier this month. Pelosi ultimately decoupled the infrastructure plan from the social spending package. Otherwise, the social spending plan may have imploded there.
Bernie, Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Sanders (I-VT) holds a press conference on State and Local Tax Deductions (SALT) as part of the Build Back Better reconciliation legislation at the United States Capitol on November 3, 2021 in Washington, DC (Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Images)
Democrats were very close to this drama being soSimply a one-act play, presented in a studio off Broadway.
But like any good play, tension is supposed to build throughout the work. Act 1 sets everything in motion. Introduces the characters - but maybe doesn't tell you everything about them. The plot always turns and of course there are cliffhangers!
Act II, Scene II is considered by most to be the most dramatic scene in Shakespeare 's "Ma " cbeth. "The scene is full of emotion. Duncan is murdered backstage . This only infuses the work with more drama. Think Spirit's Eye theater, here. The audience witnesses the emotional torrent between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth directly in front of them.
Speaker of House Nancy Pelosi applauds with House Democrats after the Build Back Better Act was passed at the United States Capitol on November 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker / Images)
By the time we get to Act Two, the drama builds. Matures. In development.
And act two is the political traffic that awaits us in the weeks to come. The social spending bill is now going through the Senate.
Now, to be clear, we don't know what twists or cliffhangers may emerge in the Senate. But there will certainly be a few. The Senate is 50/50. Democrats need their 50 senators to stay on board so they can pass the bill - with a decisive 51st vote cast by Vice President Harris.
What Senator Joe Manchin will ask for , DW.V. ? Did Senator Kirsten Sinema, D-Arizona, say anything? At all? Is the bill too moderatefor Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. ?
Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Made no secret of her contempt for the measure as she voted by proxy for her fellow Republican opposing the social spending program in the House. As Cammack took the microphone, she called herself a "member voting against hell on this bill".
"And good luck in the Senate," Cammack sneered, looking directly at Pelosi at the top of the stage.
The Senate needs to shape and change the bill to appeal to the wishes of 50 Democratic senators. Senate Republicans will be plotting all kinds of damage from amendments to the bill to portray the Democrats' intentions in the worst possible light. Expect GOP amendments to the Gasoline and Home Heating Costs Bill. Immigration and environmental policy. Tax increases. Anything to get Democrats to say they support somethingitself of controversial.
Or - even blow up the bill completely.
GET THE FOX NEWS APP
The drama in the Senate - and Act Two - may be Shakespeare-worthy. Things are so intense that they might not even need a backstage murder like Duncan's disappearance to turn up Macbeth's tension.
Let's imagine for a moment that the bill escapes the Senate - reasonably intact - for Democrats. The Senate's end product will inevitably be different from what the House passed last week. This means that the House and the Senate are not aligned. So the bill has to go back through the Capitol Rotunda to the house to sync up.
It takes us to act three.
Pelosi said the hardest part is just shaping the projectlaw in a passable form in the House and then drag it out until it is passed there.
The measure arrives at the House at the end of December or the beginning of January. And, many longtime politicians Observers don't hesitate to point out that going through the House a second time may take longer than that.
One wonders if the deep schisms between moderate and progressive democrats will reappear. The parties relaxed to approve infrastructure and social spending plans earlier this month. But tempering expectations and keeping infighting off the stage (remember what we said about things that happen off the stage) could prove to be Pelosi's most intimidating barrier yet. .
Like any good play, expect an ending. Staging. And maybe even a highlight.
Again, that assumes House Democrats arefinally able to pass a bill. And, the House has to pretty much go along with whatever the Senate approves later this month. The House must approve the same bill for the two bodies to align. Only then can the bill be sent to President Biden for his signature.
Our play would end there if we were playing on Broadway or in London's West End . But American politics is a bigger stage than that.
After all, it is a four act drama.
Republicans have taken the airwaves for months denouncing Congressional Democrats and President Biden for even trying to push forward a measure of this magnitude. They denounced the climate provisions. Language of immigration possible. Tax policy. Inflation. And just the overall cost.
Once (and if) the bill becomes law, Republicans will only amplify those arguments. Democrats can dofacing the tough challenge env of selling the bill to the public. Even so, some Democrats concede that not everything Congress passes will find political resonance with voters. The dice may already have been cast on this bill. Whether Democrats pass the measure or not does not matter to voters.
Republicans will arm this bill in the coming months.
This leads us to act four:
Midterm elections next year.