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How the mess in Congress shows why Democrats are right to be freaking out



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However, rather than the orderly adoption of two of the Democrats’ biggest priorities, the outlook looks more bleak for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden’s agenda. Like, many rockers.

Start small – and then go global.

There has been a protracted disagreement between Pelosi and the party’s moderates in the House of Representatives over the order in which the two parts of the legislation should move. Pelosi and libertarians want House to vote first to pass $3.5 trillion budget resolution and then vote on $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill la was introduced to the House of Representatives after a bipartisan agreement was struck in the Senate.

Mild – led by Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey – wants to reverse the order. They want to pass the $1.2 trillion transportation bill so it can immediately get to President Joe Biden’s desk and make it into law. Only after the infrastructure bill is passed will they want to move on to a $3.5 trillion budget settlement.

Pelosi, whose political and legislative power is historically strong, got this wrong. She clearly believes that Gottheimer and nine other moderate Democrats who joined him in calling for the infrastructure bill before the budget resolution will be successful when the time comes.

But on Monday night, Gottheimer and his executive friends went together. And because Pelosi’s majority is extremely narrow, she can’t go ahead with her first budget settlement plan. This forced her to talk to Gottheimer about what he wanted – and whether a compromise was available. (In fact, these conversations should have taken place weeks ago. Gottheimer’s objection to the order of bills Pelosi is proposing is not new.)

The possibility, of course, is that Pelosi finds a way to placate Gottheimer — possibly by scheduling a certain date for the infrastructure bill vote — and they pass a budget resolution before the week is out. (As of this writing, The rules committee appears to be working on a deal to be set for September 27 to start the House debate on the infrastructure bill.)

Now, turn the camera out – and see what all this tells us about the current state of the Democratic Party.

The key takeaway from the past 24 hours is that there is little trust among moderates and liberals in the House of Commons. Liberals don’t want to pass the infrastructure bill first because they think doing so will take away the carrot they need to keep in moderation for the full $3.5 trillion spending that they really want. Moderates believe that if they give libertarians a vote on the $3.5 trillion budget first, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan may never see the light of day. of the day, with free people walking away once they got what they wanted.

That lack of trust is eating away at a party – much less one clinging to its majority in the face of political winds that are starting to blow in their faces.

Which brings me to this: Democrats have to defend their narrow majority for about 15 months. The history of midterm elections in the first term of your party president is, um, dire. And that already bleak outlook just got worse – much worse – when the presidential approval rating is less than 50%, like Biden’s right now.

Moderates, who tend to represent areas at the top of the Republican takeover list, feel the pressure created by the weight of history and the recent Biden poll slide. in a deeply way. This makes them less willing to trust only libertarians, who face much less electoral danger. And when it comes to pushing through the specifics of a massive $3.5 trillion budget bill, those censors will be even more clumsy.

Bottom line: This is supposed to be the easy part. That doesn’t speak to the very thorny road ahead for the Democrats.

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