What the moderate resistance stands to lose

Joe Manchin.
(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Democrats have had a big week, and the kids are not...exactly alright; the party's moderates are up against the party's progressives, each with their own agenda in mind. Moderates — namely Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) — want the House to pass the Biden administration-defining bipartisan infrastructure framework, while progressives say they'll refuse to do so without a more firm agreement on the accompanying reconciliation bill's price tag. But which side does the infighting hurt more?

As some progressives have pointed out, moderate bull-headedness "will only hurt moderates in addition to the party at large," writes Politico. Why? Because progressives largely represent safe seats, "while many moderates hold swing districts."

"It will be moderates who suffer. We will lose moderates if we're running on a record that is not attractive enough to voters," Matt Bennett of the centrist think tank Third Way told Politico. "And we've been very clear, along with the vast majority of Democratic moderates including the president, that reconciliation is absolutely vital. ... And I think we'd agree that the infrastructure bill is necessary but not nearly sufficient."

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President Biden "really, really needs this win," added Colin Strother, a Democratic stategist.

And, in what might be seen as another notable strike against moderate resistance, the White House is actually "convinced progressives' end goal is still aligned with theirs and see the pressure they're exerting as ultimately helpful rather than damaging," writes Politico.

"We want to know what will be in a bill, especially if it's going to be anything less than $3.5 [trillion]," said Rep. Chuy García, (D-Ill.). "The holdup isn't with progressives, because we've maintained our position throughout. It's the moderates that have slowed this down and delayed it." Read more at Politico.

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