The refusal of Republican Senators and conservative Democrats to vote for policies they deem fiscally irresponsible has winnowed away some of the most popular proposals in President Joe Biden's infrastructure bills, which are still being negotiated in Congress.
Earlier versions of the "soft" infrastructure bill that Democrats hope to pass through reconciliation included wildly popular policies like paid family leave, universal pre-k, free community college, and the expansion of Medicare to include vision and dental. But though the American people support these policies, all Senate Republicans and some conservative Democrats have opposed them.
A key talking point of Republicans in the 2020 election was that Democrats were supposedly "soft" on China, which is outpacing the U.S. in arenas like manufacturing and trade.
Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio laid out for his colleagues how the infrastructure policies would make the U.S. more formidable in competition with China while putting money in people's pockets.
"If we don't recognize in this chamber and down the hall that China is a looming threat—not even looming, they're here. Semiconductors, they out-manufacture us. Electric vehicles, they out-manufacture us. Communications equipment, they out-manufacture us. Pharmaceuticals! Our seniors get their pharmaceuticals from China. When're we gonna wake up? When're we gonna have the guts to level the playing field? ... We have got to make these investments. We've got to make them now."
People largely agreed with the Congressman.
They threw their support behind his current campaign for an Ohio seat in the U.S. Senate.
Ryan is currently the favorite to win Ohio's Democratic primary.