Congresswoman Ilhan Omar offered what she termed “an honest accounting” late Wednesday night of the “ever-evolving negotiations” to do with the Democratic effort in Congress to pass the once sweeping, but now hobbling ‘Build Back Better’ bill that has been ransacked by a small handful of corporate-backed members of the party.
“First,” stated the Minnesota Democrat in a lengthy and detailed thread on social media, “instead of centering the needs of the American people, corporate Democrats have purely been about lining the pockets and serving the interests of the donor class.”
“If you really want to know why a provision is being killed,” she then added, “all you have to do is follow the money…”
Sens. Sens. were mocked by the public. Reporting was completed by Joe Manchin, West Virginia, and Kyrsten Sinema, Arizona, within hours. revealedThe latest progressive legislative initiative was a proposal for paid leave for family members. This was apparently at Manchin’s insistence.
Rep. Pramila Japal (D. Wash.), chair of Congressional Progressive Caucus, was on cable news Wednesday reaffirmher demand that legislative text be finalized before any agreement is made on the bill and — with “all the details not set yet” — that progressives will continue to fight for key priorities, Omar in her thread took the time to run through the variety of ways in which corporate interests targeted those priorities and in many ways were successful, despite their overwhelming popularityIn shooting them down, with voters.
This is an essential part of the story: Lobbyists mobilized against a bill which would benefit working people. (*(— Max Berger (@maxberger) https://t.co/Wo1wcoML4M
According to Omar’s accounting, which included numerous citations, the reality is that the coordinated corporate assault is at the heart of why Democrats ended up negotiating against itself — even on an agenda that President Joe Biden and the party ran on just last year. Omar tweeted:October 28, 2021
“The U.S. Chamber of Congress — the face of corporate greed — is working overtime to kill the bill, and already spent $30 million this year on lobbyists, along with a six figure ad campaign.” (
- )Open Secrets“Big Pharma — desperate to keep drug prices as high as possible — has spent $15 million. (
- ) The oil and gas industry has spent over $55 million.”Open Secrets“A shadowy group called “Center Forward” is running ads everywhere to reward politicians trying to slash the bill. This is shocking! They receive $1.5 million a year from Big Pharma.” ((*()
- “So how has that played out in negotiations?” Omar asked.New York Times“Let’s start with climate. The oil and gas industry all but killed cornerstone climate portions of the bill because it hurt coal, oil, and gas corporations,” she tweeted and pointed to CNN reporting from Oct. 16 which stated that Manchin was simply immovable on the Democratic plan to create the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), which would have harmed the bottom line of fossil fuel giants and utility companies.
“How about free community college, a key promise Democrats have run on since President Obama ran?”
Omar. “Dead, thanks to the
in Congress.” And that wasn’t all:continued“How about lowering prescription drugs, one of the most popular policies in the world? Slashed after a multimillion-dollar lobbying blitz by drug corporations.”largest recipient of cash from for-profit colleges“How about lowering the Medicare age or expanding it to cover dental, vision, and hearing? We are still working, but no lowering the age, no dental, and no vision, according to the latest negotiations.”
- “Paid leave is just the latest axe that might fall — not because of popular opposition — but because it goes against the interests of corporations and the Members of Congress who do their bidding.”
- Pointing out that “Biden ran and won on these values,” Omar argued that so many of the provisions and policies slashed or on the chopping block “are the values of the Democratic Party” that now controls — if only barely — both chambers of Congress.
- “It is corporate greed and the lawmakers who serve them,” she argued, “who are betraying the values of our party and the American people.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with other progressive members of U.S. Senate, are still negotiating to retain their top priorities in bill. All eyes are now on Jayapal and Omar in the coming days to determine how much of the package they can salvage.
We did not come to Congress to watch our entire agenda get torpedoed by corporate lobbyists, billionaires, and coal company owners hellbent on screwing over the American people,” said in conclusion to her social media statement. “It’s time to bring to the floor a bill that prioritizes people over corporations.”
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