Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) join hundreds of young Sunrise Movement activists at a 'No Climate, No Deal' rally to demand that President Joe Biden support an "infrastructure package that truly invests in job creation and acts to combat the climate crisis," on June 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

Democratic Reps. Cori Bush (Mo.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) join hundreds of young Sunrise Movement activists at a 'No Climate, No Deal' rally to demand that President Joe Biden support an "infrastructure package that truly invests in job creation and acts to combat the climate crisis," on June 28, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images)

'Hold Strong': Coalition Urges House to Reject Bipartisan Bill Until Reconciliation Package Passed

The bipartisan infrastructure bill "doesn't contain the climate solutions and care, education, and economic investments we need," more than 90 progressive groups wrote in a letter.

Kenny Stancil

Endorsing the Congressional Progressive Caucus' ongoing efforts to secure passage of the Build Back Better Act, more than 90 social and environmental justice groups sent a letter Thursday urging House lawmakers to reject the bipartisan infrastructure bill until the more ambitious reconciliation package that includes anti-poverty measures and climate action is approved.

"We strongly support the position of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that two bills must pass together, as a critical step on the journey toward tackling the climate crisis and furthering racial and economic justice."
—Coalition's letter

"Should the smaller, bipartisan bill come up for a vote before a reconciliation bill has passed, we urge representatives to vote no—in order to get to yes on Build Back Better," wrote the coalition, made up of dozens of organizations including the Green New Deal Network, People's Action, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Right to the City Alliance.

The Build Back Better Act, which proposes making "transformational investments in our future," the groups wrote, "would put our country on the path to 100% clean energy, provide home healthcare to those who need it, replace all lead pipes that poison drinking water, build a million new units of affordable housing, add hearing, dental, and vision coverage to Medicare, ensure child tax credits aren't taken away from parents who need them, expand and electrify public transit, boost rural broadband, lower the cost of prescription drugs, provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of people, paid family and medical leave and child care, and much more."

"These wildly popular investments," the coalition noted, "are paid for with taxes on corporations and the wealthy, which have for decades avoided contributing their fair share. Collectively, the investments would create millions of good, union jobs."

However, the far-reaching reconciliation package—on which the fate of President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party's agenda depends—is at risk of being "torpedoed by a maneuver being orchestrated by corporate lobbyists, if members of Congress go along," warned the coalition.

Most congressional Democrats have indicated they want to advance both the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act—which can be passed without Republican support through the filibuster-proof reconciliation process if all 50 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus as well as House Democrats, who have a razor-thin majority, support it—and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a Senate-passed bill that calls for $550 billion in new spending to upgrade the nation's roads, bridges, and ports.

Both pieces of legislation are also popular with voters, but because the reconciliation package "would reduce big corporations' ability to avoid taxes and engage in harmful behavior such as polluting our air and charging obscene prices for prescription drugs," the coalition argued in its letter, "corporate lobbyists are doing all they can to prevent its passage."

With the help of politicians who benefit substantially from corporate campaign donations—including right-wing Democrats such as Sens. Joe Manchin (W-Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) plus Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and his allies—Big Oil, Big Pharma, and other powerful interests are trying to water down or kill the Build Back Better Act, as Common Dreams has reported.

"These lobbyists' strategy," the letter states, "is to pass the bipartisan bill first, knowing that if it is taken off the table, that would reduce the incentive for conservative Democrats to vote for the bigger reconciliation bill."

"A significant majority of voters put Democrats into power in the last elections because they wanted our government to start acting in the best interest of the public... it is time for Democrats to deliver."
—Coalition's letter

"The way to secure the best deal for the American people," the letter continues, "is to ensure both bills move together—and that means rejecting lobbyists' strategy of passing the smaller bipartisan bill through the House on September 27 without having first passed a larger reconciliation bill."

Alluding to the fact that "a significant majority of voters put Democrats into power in the last elections because they wanted our government to start acting in the best interest of the public," the groups emphasized that "it is time for Democrats to deliver."

"For this to happen, because their majority is narrow, Democrats from all sides of the party must come together and compromise," they added.

Given that the Build Back Better Act is "much smaller" than the 10-year investment of at least $10 trillion deemed necessary by policy experts—and the $6 trillion plan backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer—"the $3.5 trillion reconciliation figure is already a compromise, hammered out by conservative and progressive Democrats in the Senate, and it omits many wise investments while leaving significant potential revenue on the table," the coalition wrote.

"Progressives in Congress have been flexible and constructive throughout this negotiation and continue to work to land a reconciliation deal," the groups stressed, "but they have also been clear: they will oppose passage of just the smaller bill by itself—because it doesn't contain the climate solutions and care, education, and economic investments we need. Passing just that small bill alone wouldn't be a compromise; it would be a capitulation."

"We strongly support the position of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that two bills must pass together, as a critical step on the journey toward tackling the climate crisis and furthering racial and economic justice," wrote the coalition. "We urge progressives to hold strong. We will have your back."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo