Humiliation of the House Moderates

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The House of Representatives has been in a state of turmoil for weeks, with the Republican majority’s attempts to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) being met with fierce resistance from Democrats and some moderate Republicans. A vote on the AHCA is expected this week, but it is unlikely to pass.

The democrats vs republicans is a battle that has been ongoing for many years. It’s not just about who will be president, but also about what the House of Representatives will look like.

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3:09 p.m., Oct. 3, 2021 ET

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Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) speaks to media outside the US Capitol on September 30, 2021, after voting to keep the federal government running until early December.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Chief Somodevilla

Josh Gottheimer was certain that, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi had promised, the House would vote on Thursday to approve the Senate public-works measure. How certain are you? “1,000 percent,” the congressman from New Jersey told CNN.

Mr. Gottheimer was still optimistic that a vote on Friday would rescue the day by the end of Thursday, even if there was no vote scheduled. He tweeted, “It ain’t over yet!” “This is just one long legislative day—we’re not going anywhere. We’re still in the middle of negotiations, and we’re working hard. As I already said, I’m going to get some Gatorade and Red Bull.”

He wasn’t the only one who drank bull. Friday passed without a vote.

Mr. Gottheimer was left with no choice but to publicly lament that “Speaker Pelosi has broken her clear, public promise to Members of Congress and the American people to conduct a vote and approve the once-in-a-generation bipartisan infrastructure package on or before September 27.” “We cannot allow this tiny group on the extreme left” to derail “the President’s program,” he said.

Welcome to the Democratic Party, buddy, to paraphrase Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” The progressive left isn’t just a “minority.” As Friday shown, it is the most powerful group. Mr. Biden, unlike Mr. Gottheimer, does not seem to believe that the left is undermining his program. On Friday, he paid a special visit to Capitol Hill, telling Democrats that he was OK with no infrastructure vote. By tying his bipartisan measure to the partisan multi-trillion-dollar reconciliation package, he sabotaged the vote.

Mr. Gottheimer’s humiliation was only the most visible among House moderate liberals who had trusted the Speaker. These swing-district members may have helped Democrats gain a slim House majority in 2020, but when it comes to governing, they’re expected to remain silent and applaud the left’s agenda.

The Chamber of Commerce, which supported these moderates in 2020 to have some power in House councils, should be embarrassed by Mr. Biden’s choice to officially re-link the infrastructure measure with the reconciliation bill. Instead, the House of Representatives handed Mrs. Pelosi the votes she needed to enact the left’s agenda. Republicans in the Senate who voted for the infrastructure package seem to have been duped as well.

Mrs. Pelosi established a new timetable for an infrastructure vote of the end of October on Saturday. She believes that this would give progressives and Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema enough time to reach an agreement on the massive social-welfare package.

Mr. Gottheimer and House moderates will make their own demands on reconciliation if they hope to maintain any influence, much alone political respect. But, as is customary, they are unlikely to do so.

“We’ve got three things to accomplish,” Joe Biden said of Wonderland. “The debt limit, the continuing resolution, and the two bills are all on the table. If we accomplish that, the nation will be in excellent condition.” Images courtesy of Disney/Getty Images/Everett Collection Mark Kelly’s composite

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The print version of the October 4, 2021, was published.

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