You know, I think everyone knew there were going to be two bills. There was going to be — well, we didn’t know. But the White House, to their credit, worked really hard to get this bipartisan compromise, all the calls, all the meetings. It looked like real legislation, the kind of stuff Joe Biden was born for.
And so we get this deal, against all the odds. It was unexpected. The Republicans knew there was going to be a reconciliation deal. What they didn’t know, I think, is that he was going to threaten to veto the compromise if he didn’t get the second.
And so it was that linkage that I think took a lot of Republicans by surprise, and not only the — I mean, ones who really believe in the deal, the Rob Portmans of the world and people like that.
So, I do think, from what we know, they are right to feel a little aggrieved. Will they walk out on it? Well, Senator Coons from Delaware told Politico this afternoon that, so far, they have had conversations, bipartisan, and they haven’t walked out on the deal.
Now, a couple people, Lindsey Graham and others, one other, have shown some willingness to walk out of the deal. And if they do that, then you don’t have 10 Republicans in the Senate, and you can’t pass the deal.
But, like Jonathan says, so far, they’re hanging in there. And there’s a whole bunch of strategy I can imagine about how they’re going to try to sink the reconciliation later. It’s a strategist’s dream, this complicated procedure.