House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are gridlocked on legislative measures while the Democrat party grows “infuriated.”
“Last week, as all outward appearances suggested gridlock on Capitol Hill,” the New York Times reported about Pelosi and Schumer’s inability “to salvage their $3.5 trillion social policy and climate change bill.”
On the House side, Pelosi is struggling to whip up the majority of Democrats to vote for the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill. Pelosi promised “moderates” a vote on the bill Monday, but Pelosi broke her promise and pushed the vote to Thursday.
The decision was likely due to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and her 94-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, which opposed a vote on the “bipartisan” bill for fear of losing leverage to pass the $3.5 trillion package.
Pelosi is also fumbling over Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-FL) “no” vote “against the Medicare prescription drug bargaining plan put forth by the House” Democrats, Punchbowl News reported Monday. Pelosi needed the “yes” vote from Murphy to secure funding for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Murphy stated last week she is unhappy with Democrat infighting, which threatens President Biden’s massive tax and spend policies. “The mistrust that exists currently between members will spread to mistrust between leadership and members, and I think that wouldn’t be healthy for our Congress accomplishing Biden’s agenda,” Murphy said.
“There’s clearly enough moderate opposition to sink” both the reconciliation package and the “bipartisan” bill in Pelosi’s chamber, Punchbowl surmised.
On the Senate side, Schumer is finding it difficult to whip his Democrat majority to pass the reconciliation package upon or if the House sends it to the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are opposed to some of the radical provisions in the package, along with the $3.5 trillion price tag. In a vocal manor, they have threatened to derail Biden’s agenda and Schumer’s legacy.
As a result, the angst among Democrats is palpable, as they are growing “frustrated” and “infuriated” with Biden’s lack of action.
“The president needs to pick up the phone and call people,” a Democrat aide “close to the talks” told Politico Playbook. “The person argued that the White House has been in ‘listening mode’ for too long and needs to bang heads to get this vote over the finish line this week.”
“There are a lot of mistakes happening here,” the Democrat aide added, admitting the Democrat Party is scattered with no “game plan going into such a critical” time before the 2022 midterms. “There is no whip effort on the BIF [bipartisan infrastructure bill] yet. Everything is hanging by a thread. Biden needs to be more engaged.”
Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer are hoping the infighting will be resolved before Thursday’s vote on the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill. But this is unlikely due to a government shutdown that will occur Friday.
Democrats can avoid a shutdown by temporarily funding the government. Yet raising the debt ceiling requires Republican support in the Senate, and Republicans are in no mood to help Democrats because doing so would enable Biden’s massive tax and spend agenda.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.