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How the Democrats' Progressive Agenda Was Gutted (Again)

The party's climbdown on policies to help working Americans can't be blamed on Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema alone.

For a year, the Democrats have controlled the White House and Congress, yet have in many cases retreated from fights on policies that Democrats ran on in 2020. In a recent Roundtable discussion, contributor Niko House argued this outcome can't be blamed solely on Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

“Nancy Pelosi is supposedly the Speaker of the House, but all of a sudden she's in the background?” House said. “Pelosi and Schumer throw big numbers out there in the beginning to convince Americans that they're doing their job, but they always [end up stripping] reforms down to bare bones,” House says. 

"If the people got to vote on these issues directly, I think they would be in place," said Dick Price, publisher of the LA Progressive. "Polls show most Democrats support expanding Medicare coverage, some form of universal healthcare, and student debt forgiveness. These policies are wildly popular." 

Sharon Kyle, editor of LA Progressive, added that Democrats should represent average people, but also that the public has an obligation to get involved in the process and maintain pressure. 

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“We have poor turnout, we have a populace that's not engaged, we have a non-participatory democracy,” Kyle said. “As long as we have that, we're going to continue to have these kinds of outcomes where those who have the most invested get the biggest return on their investment.”  

Watch the full panel: