Dec 18, 2021
The US Senate adjourned for the year at 4:02am Saturday morning after Democrats failed to reach agreement on their top legislative priorities: the Build Back Better Bill and voting rights legislation.
But, at 1:30am, with one of the last few votes of the year, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was confirmed ambassador to Japan
The Senate is now scheduled to return to Washington on Jan. 3.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had promised for weeks that the Senate would pass Biden's Build Back Better legislation by Christmas. But Schumer acknowledged on Friday that the Senate had failed to meet that timeline.
While Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are largely responsible for killing the Democrat's priority legislation, Majority Leader Schumer was called out for never even forcing them to take a vote before adjourning for the year:
\u201cSchumer can\u2019t force Manchin and Sinema to change their minds on his own. But he has the power to call a vote and force them to go to the floor and vote. It\u2019s time. Call a vote on the best version of BBB & filibuster reform with 48 Dems in support and make them vote it up or down.\u201d— Kai Newkirk !VOTE BLUE! (@Kai Newkirk !VOTE BLUE!) 1639778418
The leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, US Rep. Pramila Jayapal, had called on the Senate to stay in session:
"We fight inflation by passing Build Back Better and cutting costs -- this can't wait," Jayapal tweeted. "The House did our work, and now it's time for the Senate to do theirs. They must stay in session."
\u201cWe fight inflation by passing Build Back Better and cutting costs \u2014 this can\u2019t wait.\n\nThe House did our work, and now it\u2019s time for the Senate to do theirs. They must stay in session.\nhttps://t.co/hNSOmkyJ8N\u201d— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@Rep. Pramila Jayapal) 1639783800
Reaction from other progressive leaders was harsh:
\u201cThe Senate adjourned for 2021 at 4 a.m. this morning, officially ending any hope of passing Build Back Better or voting rights this year. Biden's agenda is now at the mercy of the midterm election year, thanks mainly to @Sen_JoeManchin.\u201d— Robert Reich (@Robert Reich) 1639841075
\u201cIn what world is it okay for the Senate to go home for the holidays while the people lack basic needs and democracy crumbles? The Senate needs to come back into session and pass the Build Back Better Act and voting rights. \n\nFull statement \u2b07\ufe0f\u201d— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@Congressman Jamaal Bowman) 1639840584
\u201cWas the Senate not here from 2016-2020 that they can just dust their hands and go home for the year without voting rights done?\n\nThis is malpractice.\u201d— Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (@Jamaal Bowman Ed.D) 1639842752
\u201cIt\u2019s unbelievable Senate went home for the year without passing voting rights legislation after insurrection & wave of new voter suppression laws, extreme gerrymandering & election subversion by GOP\u201d— Ari Berman (@Ari Berman) 1639842198
\u201cWe are still in a pandemic. Our leaders need to recognize that and act accordingly when it comes to helping people.\n\nWhy is the Senate going on vacation?\u201d— Nina Turner (@Nina Turner) 1639793476
\u201cThe Senate got its most important job done this week: approving the ambassador nomination for a politician whose office covered up the video of police murdering a teenager\u201d— Andrew Perez (@Andrew Perez) 1639833336
\u201cOnce again the progressive \u201calarmists\u201d who said BBB would die by a thousand cuts if we passed a decoupled BIF have been proven right.\u201d— Sawyer Hackett (@Sawyer Hackett) 1639755502
\u201cAnd in response @SenSchumer & @SenateDems simply folded their arms & retired on 12/18/21 for yet ANOTHER #SenateRecess as if nothing is wrong & everything is normal...\n\nI'm now totally outraged & disgusted with Schumer & Senate Leadership! #Shameful #AbdicationofResponsibility\u201d— Wellness\u00d7Truth=Power \ud83d\udc94 \ud83d\udc99 (@Wellness\u00d7Truth=Power \ud83d\udc94 \ud83d\udc99) 1639845149
We're optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.
We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter counts.
Your contribution supports this new media model—free, independent, and dedicated to uncovering the truth. Stand with us in the fight for social justice, human rights, and equality. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.