Right now, the measure is expected to fail, as a CNN count shows there are not 10 Republican senators who would vote to override a GOP filibuster. Republicans are concerned the commission proposal has become partisan, is duplicative of law enforcement and congressional investigations, and would slow down implementing needed security reforms at the Capitol, which is now without the National Guard contingent that was brought in when the riot happened almost five months ago. The key vote may happen this week, but could slide past the weeklong Memorial Day recess.
That’s because Republicans are indicating they expect a China competition bill that’s on the floor now — the Endless Frontiers Act — may not get completed before the end of the week.
The measure, which is meant to counter China’s increasing superiority in manufacturing and global supply chains, boosts technology funding for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, and funds upgrades to the US supply chain. It also confronts China on intellectual property theft and revamps the National Science Foundation to better position it to help spur US manufacturing.
The bipartisan bill is considered a bellwether for any future interparty deals, although with almost all the other top items on President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda imperiled, it’s not evident now that the bipartisan spirit will carry over.
Here’s where the issues stand:
In a sign that the White House is gearing up to go it alone via reconciliation, a shift in messaging from senior adviser Cedric Richmond, who told Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sunday that Biden “wants a deal” and “wants it soon,” but, “he will not let inaction be the answer. And when he gets to the point where it looks like that is inevitable, you’ll see him change course.”
A decision could come from the parliamentarian this week, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the influential Senate Budget Committee, is waiting in the wings, and is prepared to work on a budget resolution — the first step in the reconciliation process — as soon as the White House unveils its budget. The expectation, according to aides, is that process will begin in June although that deadline could slip again if rank-and-file members want more time for bipartisan talks.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware unveiled a $340 billion surface transportation bill over the weekend that could serve as a potential building block for a bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Some Democrats want the bill dramatically changed to bring on board Manchin and enough Republicans to pass it.
But, she said, “There’s a big difference between that and a president of the United States who loses an election after he tried to steal the election and refuses to concede, and then continues to say the election was stolen.”
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey told CNN’s Bash that the core negotiating group has made “meaningful progress,” but that Democrats and Republicans are still far apart on how to deal with qualified immunity, which shields police officers from civil lawsuits. Republicans oppose getting rid of qualified immunity.
“We need to, at some point, get qualified immunity. That’s what I’m determined to at this negotiating table to get,” Booker said on SOTU. “This is one of the big issues that we’re working very hard to see if we could bridge this wide gulf.”
Booker, Tim Scott and Karen Bass are all still talking, and Bass is sticking around DC this week, even as the House is out, to keep the talks going.
Background checks and gun legislation
A series of mass shootings over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and another 69 injured.
Postal Service reform
CNN’s Kristen Holmes, Daniella Diaz, Ali Zaslav, Maeve Reston, Phil Mattingly and Jessica Dean contributed to this report.