Interesting conversation with Sen. Mark Warner a few minutes ago on Clubhouse. Hopefully, they’ll make the audio available, but for now, here are some notes by Cindy and me…including:
- On the infrastructure bill, Warner says “The traditional ways to pay for this stuff—taxes, or user fees, are kind of taken off the table” (because @POTUS said no taxes on people earning less than $400,000). So looking at unspent balances on COVID, pension-smoothing, lots of sources of “pay-for”s.
- Sen. Warner says it would be a “HUGE mistake” not to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and if for whatever reason it doesn’t get done, he’d support putting it into the reconciliation bill, but thinks it would be harder to pass.
- At the end, he says, “let’s get this damn infrastructure bill done!” and “put some points on the board” to show the U.S. Senate can get stuff done.
- Warner says he doesn’t think there are votes yet in the Senate to end the filibuster. Some of those who are most reluctant are good friends of his. Says voting rights and climate change are “existential issues,” and that we’ve got to protect democracy.
- Warner seems to say that the only area where he’d be willing to carve out an exception on the filibuster is voting rights (one of the “existential issues” he mentioned). Also says he could see reforming it, e.g., where a Senator has to hold the floor. But he doesn’t sound super optimistic about getting rid of it.