Your Mask Is As Useless As Biden Shirt


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Your Mask Is As Useless As Biden Shirt

KEEP AN EYE ON THIS — No final decision yet, but President JOE BIDEN is considering flying to Wyoming on Friday for the funeral of former Sen. MIKE ENZI, who died one week ago after a bike accident near his home. Enzi, who retired last year, overlapped in the Senate with Biden from 1997-2009. He was a conservative Republican but had a bipartisan streak, notably in his work on education with TED KENNEDY.

ANOTHER INFRASTRUCTURE WEEK — All eyes are on the Senate again this week.

On Sunday night, a little past 9 p.m., the bipartisan infrastructure bill — is BIF now BIB? — finally hit the Senate floor.

Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER introduced the legislation with these momentous words: “I call up the Sinema-Portman substitute amendment!”

OK, maybe it doesn’t read as momentous on the page, but we watched it live, and after weeks of delay — and a comical weekend of Schumer repeatedly coming to the Senate floor and granting the bipartisan group more time — it seemed like a big deal.

— What Schumer is watching this week: The majority leader will soon make clear the details of the amendment process for the bill formerly known as BIF. There will be Republican amendments allowed, but smoke signals from Schumer’s office suggest this won’t be an enormously generous process. One Democratic aide notes that Schumer “has already allowed more amendment votes on legislation this year alone than the entire four years under McConnell/Trump.”

Schumer wants the legislation wrapped up in “a matter of days” so he can move on to the budget resolution. Sens. SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine) and JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) both said Sunday that it could be finished by Thursday.

— What MITCH MCCONNELL is watching this week: Expect the minority leader to push loudly for an expansive amendment process. He’s been on a path to support the final bill, but process complaints could always serve as a handy reason to divert from that path.

— What the White House is watching this week: Last week saw a growing divide between Democratic moderates and progressives over infrastructure, the $3.5 trillion budget resolution and eviction policy (more on that below). Progressives torched the bipartisan bill as all but useless when it comes to climate policy. One of the most well-known Democratic House members (ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ) all but called one of the most well-known Democratic senators (KYRSTEN SINEMA) a racist. Speaker NANCY PELOSI and the White House fought over the eviction moratorium.

The White House is hoping non-moderate enthusiasm for the bill rises this week. Several sources suggested that the best way for that to happen is to move onto the Democrats-only budget bill.

— What we’ll be watching: The bill is more than 2,700 pages and hasn’t been read widely outside the group of senators and aides who wrote it. Inevitably, there will be land mines within it that explode on both left and right once it’s swept by the press and interest groups. And because the bill won’t move in the House for weeks — Pelosi says it has to be accompanied by the budget — it could become a fat target as it sits in legislative limbo.

Sen. MIKE LEE (R-Utah) spoke for a long time on the Senate floor Sunday night after the bill was introduced. He opposes the bill, but boy was his criticism neutered — though he was forceful about wanting an open amendment process. Will DONALD TRUMP, Sens. TOM COTTON (R-Ark.) and TED CRUZ (R-Texas) or right-wing media develop more antipathy for the legislation, or do they all save their fire for the fight over the reconciliation bill?

COMING ATTRACTION: We’re told White House senior adviser NEERA TANDEN has been working on a “Month of Action” plan for the Biden administration in August to showcase the president’s accomplishments and agenda. More details soon.

Good Monday morning, and thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, Tara Palmeri.


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