The U.S. Capitol building is seen illuminated at dawn along the National Mall in Washington

The 4 issues Democrats are trying to solve in Congress right now

Call them the four winds, the four bulls, maybe the four horsemen. Democrats in Congress are wrestling with four sweeping, nation-changing and tricky issues simultaneously:

  1. Government funding, due to run out Thursday
  2. The debt ceiling, which we’ll reach in the next two to three weeks
  3. The $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate
  4. The larger “Build Back Better” bill, which would dramatically shift how the nation (and families) handles child care, drug prices and climate change, among other issues

As I write, the government funding bill is the least tangled of the group. As soon as today, Democrats expect to start moving on a bill to fund the government until early December.

READ MORE: Why the debt limit is again roiling Washington

The debt ceiling is the most tangled. Republicans refuse to vote for any increase in the debt ceiling, while saying that they want one, because they argue the burden should be on Democrats alone to figure out how to do it. Democrats do not have the Senate votes to pass this through normal 60-vote means, however, and thus far do not want to use the reconciliation procedure that could allow them to raise the debt ceiling on their own with a simple majority. The off-ramp to this looming crisis is hard to see, and may not even exist yet.

So let’s talk about the middle two issues: infrastructure and the “Build Back Better” bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pledged to hold a House vote on the infrastructure bill on Thursday. That would be final passage of the bill, which has already cleared the Senate. However, House progressives are rebelling and say they will not vote for it until the reconciliation measure passes.

Why are they laying down such a hard line?

Let me give two of the many reasons.

Progressives know that Senators have more leverage and leeway to change bills. They want their bill to contain as much of their priority legislation as possible and not get watered down by moderate Democratic senators. They are looking at you, Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.

This is full of key priorities, and with the future control of both chambers in some doubt, progressives believe they may not get this chance again for years, maybe a decade.

WATCH: Private Dem talks on major bills more positive than public appearances, Rep. Yarmuth says

What’s next?

There is not enough time for Democrats to agree on, finish writing and pass a reconciliation bill by Thursday. There is likely not even enough time for the first of those steps. What might help, though, is if progressives could get some kind of better guarantee or outline from Manchin and Sinema on what they will support.

That is what everyone is watching for in this moment.

But it is important to remember it is just one moment.

WATCH: Climate, drug prices, child care and other issues at stake in reconciliation rift

Large bills usually collapse several times before getting their final, battle-weathered shape as a law.

Democrats will not give up on these bills, regardless of what happens in the next two days. It is just a question of how battered the party and the bills get in the process.

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