The Biden administration has pushed forward on its agenda while Democrats have the trifecta of the White House, the House, and the Senate, but some members of Congress seem dedicated to ensuring it goes nowhere. Host Michelangelo Signorile lamented the actions of the bipartisan group of senators—including Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, and Susan Collins—which he believes fall short of actually helping those who need it the most.
“They always come up with [compromises on these bills] to raise money [in a way that is] raising money off of the backs of working people,” Signorile explained, “instead of the wealthiest Americans and corporations who are not paying their fair share of taxes—which is what Biden wants to do.”
McCarter agreed, offering some additional perspective on Collins, who she believes could be purposely taking the fall for her party just so GOP leadership can have a scapegoat to blame for blocking progress. By blaming Collins and acting as if they are unable to do anything about her standing in the way, they can wash their hands of any responsibility—when the reality is that Republicans remain hellbent on blocking certain legislation. McCarter notes Collins’ skill in playing this game:
[Collins is] very good at that. In fact … you might think that Mitch McConnell picks her purposefully to do this—to be the one that pretends she’s going to be bipartisan, and then come up with these ridiculous things to keep from being bipartisan. It’s sort of become a game with them.
Democrats are also dealing with their own members’ attempts to thwart legislation. Manchin refuses to help end the filibuster, and Sinema even blocked to Democrats’ efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. Signorile and McCarter expressed confusion, in particular, over Sinema’s end goals. She may be playing with fire, as McCarter elaborated: “[Sinema] has a base of her party that helped to elect her that is very angry. What is perplexing is, I don’t know who she thinks she’s playing to … but she has some very real pressure coming from Democrats in her state and Latinos who have been organizing the past couple of election cycles.”
Signorile and McCarter also discussed Sinema’s accountability specifically to members of the LGBTQ community, who have felt very disappointed by her lack of action in meaningfully supporting protections for LGBTQ Americans. As McCarter said, “She is the only senator who has ever openly identified as [bisexual]. And we were all really excited for that. We thought, ‘Great, she’s one of us!’ No, she’s letting Republicans filibuster the Equality Act. It’s inexplicable. She’s really courting a primary campaign.”
Regarding Manchin’s behavior, Signorile noted how a majority of West Virginians support the Biden administration’s priorities, such as the For the People Act, and how the senator’s refusal to help move those pieces of legislation forward could come back to haunt him when he’s up for reelection. What’s more, as long as Manchin continues supporting the existence of the filibuster, the bipartisan commission to investigate the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 will never come to fruition. McCarter hopes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi understands what is at stake and will move with the urgency needed to get her party members in line and advance these measures.
The pair wrapped the segment by once again emphasizing McConnell’s fierce commitment to blocking any kind of meaningful progress by Democrats in Congress. McCarter reminded audiences of McConnell’s role in all of this, despite his attempts to paint an image of himself with his hands tied: “Mitch McConnell has said, ‘I am 100% committed to seeing Biden’s agenda fail.’ I don’t know how much more clearly he can put it.”
You can listen to the audio below: