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Democrats need to be united to pass $3.5 trillion budget plan

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

What are the details of the Democrats' proposed $3.5 trillion budget blueprint?

Well, the Democrats this week in the Senate Budget Committee agreed to move forward with the plan to spend $3.5 trillion spread out over about 10 years on a huge portion of President Biden's Build Back Better Plan. This comes on top of a bipartisan agreement, at least in principle, on another $600 billion in physical infrastructure, which is roads, bridges, tunnels, repair, broadband deployment and a whole bunch of other physical infrastructure spending that Republicans and Democrats agree they want to do but aren't clear on how they want to pay for. But on the $3.5 trillion in spending, this is a lot of new social services, it's extending a number of tax subsidies that are going to low-income families and families with kids as part of the American Rescue Plan, which was the Biden stimulus bill that passed earlier in the year. It also includes money for two years of community college, universal preschool, and expands Medicare to cover things like dental benefits and other things that Medicare currently doesn't pay for.

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Why election reform laws are deadlocked on Capitol Hill

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

With the For the People Act not passed in the Senate, what's the outlook on Democrats' election reform?

Well, the thing about election laws is that they're really all about power, how to get it, how to maintain it once you have it. And the Republicans and the Democrats are unlikely to agree on even the basics of what's wrong with our election system today, and they were definitely unlikely to agree on how to reform those things. So there's really no consensus on Capitol Hill on what's broken about the current election law. You've got Republicans at the state level who are pushing, rolling back some of the more generous rules that were laid out during coronavirus. You also have some that are trying to combat President Trump's allegations of widespread fraud during the 2020 election cycle. Democrats, on the other hand, are doing everything they can to make it easier to vote, to expand access to the vote. And that's part of what was in the federal legislation that Republicans voted down.

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Marjorie Taylor Greene support in House shows Republican Party tilt

Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Lots of drama to start the year on Capitol Hill. First, you had an insurgency on January 6th, followed by an impeachment of the President of the United States, accompanied by magnetometers being installed on the floor of the House of Representatives because the Democratic members thought the Republican members were trying to carry in guns with which to hurt them. Accusations that some of the Republican members may have been aiding the insurgents in that 6 January riot. Not a lot of evidence for that, but it does show there's a lot of bad partisan will between the two parties, right now. And that is culminating this week with a vote to potentially expel freshman member Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments in the House of Representatives.

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Senator Murphy on abolishing the filibuster, a Senate tool he has famously employed

One of the most heated debates happening on Capitol Hill right now is whether Democrats should push to eliminate the Senate filibuster in order to overcome Republican opposition to their legislative agenda. Bremmer posed this question to Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, a man who famously launched a 15-hour long filibuster of his own on gun control in 2016.

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Ending the filibuster: Senator Chris Coons' changed views & a Biden administration

In a new interview with Ian Bremmer for GZERO World, Delaware Senator Chris Coons, once an ardent defender of the filibuster, explains why he's had a change of heart on the procedural policy. The filibuster prevents a simple majority from passing legislation in the Senate, and has been a tool that Coons says allowed Sen. Mitch McConnell, then Minority Leader, to "use the power of the minority to thwart the Obama Administration's agenda." Coons says, should VP Biden win the 2020 election, "I'm not willing to sit by for four years and watch an entire administration lose the opportunity to make real change."

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