Explaining reconciliation and the social issues at stake, with Mary C. Curtis

Congress will be back in earnest next week with a lot on the to-do list, including two infrastructure bills.

The first, a bipartisan, Senate-passed infrastructure package, would spend billions of dollars to improve roads, bridges, waterways — but it’s yet to be passed by the House. And then there’s the partisan “human” infrastructure bill that would provide sweeping funds for President Joe Biden’s social agenda, including subsidies for child care, education, paid leave, health care, clean energy programs and more.

Democrats’ only chance at passing such a bold measure without GOP support? A process called budget reconciliation.

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist and host of the Equal Time podcast, sat down with Norm Ornstein, senior fellow emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute, to better understand reconciliation. She also talked with Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison to understand more about what’s at stake for the party with the bold social priorities.

Reconciliation, infrastructure and the social safety net

President Joe Biden made clear from his first day in office that social justice issues are at the top of his economic agenda. A “human” infrastructure bill remains on Congress’ to-do list, which includes subsidies for child care, education, paid leave, health care and clean energy programs — in other words, a social safety net.

But to get this partisan, largely unwritten measure passed, Democrats have embraced the budget reconciliation process. Mary C. Curtis speaks first to Norman Ornstein, emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, to unpack the reconciliation process. To discuss the friction within the Democratic Party on this measure and more, Curtis turns to DNC Chair Jaime Harrison on what’s at stake.

POLITICAL WRAP: Biden Address to Joint Session of Congress Happening Wednesday

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nearly 100 days after taking office, President Joe Biden is finally set to give his first formal address to a joint session of Congress.

Wednesday’s speech will give the President an opportunity to make the case for his $2 trillion infrastructure plan and other legislative priorities.

POLITICAL WRAP: President Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The definition of infrastructure in the spotlight.

Critics say much of President Biden’s $2 Trillion plan… funds other things.

So what are the chances the President’s agenda makes it through Congress?

Our political contributor Mary C. Curtis has more in the video above.

A Growing Charlotte Is Now 16th Largest City. Can We Handle It?

CHARLOTTE, NC — A Growing Charlotte Is Now 16th Largest City. Can We Handle It?

The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that Charlotte has again moved up in the rankings of the country’s largest cities, adding 13,151 residents between 2017 and 2018, for a total population of nearly 872,500. It passes Indianapolis to become the 16th largest city in the country.

And its outlying towns are growing even faster.

Only Phoenix, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Seattle added more new people. So, what does that mean, as Charlotte, though proud of the achievement, continues to struggle with challenges those growing numbers mean, from affordable housing to infrastructure demands to the wealth and education gap?