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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lost control of the House floor on Tuesday, withdrawing from consideration before a vote what was presumed to be a mundane, run-of-the-mill, typical political messaging bill on the budget due to widespread division in her own House Democrat conference.

Bloomberg News’ Erik Wasson and Jack Fitzpatrick reported on Tuesday afternoon:

House Democratic leaders shelved a plan to pass a bill increasing budget caps for the next two fiscal years amid infighting between their caucus’s liberal and moderate wings. Liberals demanded $33 billion more for domestic social programs in 2020 as the price of their support, while some moderates opposed the bill over its lack of spending cuts in mandatory entitlement programs to offset the impact on the deficit. Republicans slammed the House majority for failing to produce a budget so far this year.

The bill was not even meant to become law, but to be a messaging bill–an opening salvo for spending negotiations between House Democrats, Senate Republicans, and President Donald Trump’s White House.

“The bill was intended to be an opening offer from House Democrats in budget talks with the White House and Republican-led Senate about the level of discretionary spending. It calls for increasing defense and non-defense caps by $88 billion each in 2020. Disagreement among House Democrats now raises questions about how those talks will proceed,” Wasson and Fitzpatrick reported.

They quoted House Budget Committee chairman Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) as saying the divisions between the two sides of the Democrat conference were irreconcilable ahead of Pelosi’s plans for a floor vote on the bill on Tuesday.

“There are further conversations we must have to reach consensus between the wings of our caucus, left and right,” Yarmuth said.

According to a Fox News report, while Pelosi’s plan would have raised spending significantly, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) was pushing an alternative that blew through the caps on spending even more. The CPC is dominated by far-left voices like freshman Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)–among others–representing the divide in the Democrat conference, and broader Democrat Party, between standard progressive leftists and the new class of socialists rising since the 2018 midterm elections.

Fox News’ Samuel Chamberlain wrote:

The measure [from Pelosi and Democrat leadership] would have raised limits on discretionary spending for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies, but leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) pushed to allow billions more in spending on domestic programs. An amendment offered by CPC co-chairwoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., would have added $67 billion to spending limits for nondefense programs over the next two fiscal years. Jayapal’s amendment would have also capped defense and nondefense spending at $664 billion each in fiscal year 2020 (which begins Oct. 1 of this year) and $680 billion each in fiscal year 2021.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the co-chair of the CPC, tweeted that progressives “aren’t backing down” on this battle.

Similarly, the Bloomberg story quotes Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)–a progressive caucus leader who also serves as co-chairman of the 2020 Bernie Sanders Democratic presidential campaign–as saying the left needs to fight harder:

Progressives urged party leadership to use Congress’s authority over taxpayer money to stake out a bold position on what the government’s priorities should be. Ro Khanna, a progressive Democrat from California, said his pitch to the Appropriations Committee will be to spend less money on the military to free up funds for social programs.

“We can’t surrender before the first shot is fired,” Khanna said, setting the tone for budget negotiations with Republicans and the Trump administration

Politico’s report, meanwhile, quotes Prayapal’s CPC co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) as saying that Pelosi and Democrat leadership did not listen to rank-and-file members enough on this.

“I think if leadership had maybe talked to a broader spectrum of members to begin with and not just worry about the folks who vote wrong on [motions to recommit], they would have had a better outcome,” Pocan said.

But Politico also found that not just the hard left-wing of the Democrat conference was opposed to the bill; so-called moderate Democrats like Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), a co-chair of the Democrats’ Blue Dog Coalition, was quoted as being upset with the proposal because it spent too much.

“The system is broken and somebody has to be the adult in the room and try to get us back on track,” Murphy said.

Politico then explains the tricky vote-maneuvering situation that Pelosi found herself in as she embarked on this process before surrendering on Tuesday with no bill at all:

The focus has been largely on the progressives, with Jayapal and Pocan pushing their own amendment, which would have dramatically increased domestic spending to match the Pentagon’s budget. But that move, which cost an extra $66 billion over two years, would have lost dozens of Democratic fiscal hawks.

Democratic leaders had agreed to put that amendment up for a vote. But it would have been a big political gamble, because the party’s centrists had warned that they would oppose the additional money at a time when government deficits are set to exceed $1 trillion this year.

The Blue Dogs and other fiscal hawks in the party argued that progressives should be the ones to help pass the bill because those votes won’t hurt them back home. Many moderate, vulnerable incumbents, on the other hand, were already loathe to vote for a bill that increases spending.

Democratic leaders made a last-ditch attempt to sell the budget in a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning, with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey delivering some tough love to her colleagues.

If Democrats can’t pass a bill to set spending limits, the New York Democrat said, they shouldn’t be in the majority, according to multiple people in the room. Such a setback would come after the caucus is likely to skip passing a formal budget this year.

But the setback for Democrats could be even bigger than a budget loss in a battle with Trump or than an embarrassing lack of basic political wherewithal to pass something as non-controversial as a budget. Pelosi fended off an intra-party rebellion after the midterm election before the beginning of this Congress to win a second chance at the Speakership–the first time she’s held the gavel since she lost in the 2010 midterm elections at the beginning of former President Barack Obama’s administration. In doing so, Pelosi secured major rules changes that largely protect her from an internal rebellion mid-Congress–like what drove out former House Speaker John Boehner and what constantly threatened fellow former House Speaker Paul Ryan–but that does not mean she is fully secure.

If she keeps losing battles like this to the left of her conference and sizable numbers of members on both sides feel emboldened enough to take on the Speaker of their own party in battle–and they start winning those battles, as the left won this one–then they could start challenging her on many more things that they would normally let go.

With the rise of problematic members like Reps. Omar and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)–both of whose repeated anti-Semitic remarks Pelosi failed to actually hold them accountable for–and others like Ocasio-Cortez, whose pie-in-the-sky socialism has rank-and-file so-called moderate Democrats freaking out, then Pelosi could be in for a wild ride from here. It’s notable that this first major blowup in her ability to pass legislation happened within 100 days of the new Congress starting–just 96 days in–so it remains to be seen what fight next leads to issues for Pelosi.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Rick

    April 10, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Nancy lost control to the snowflakes..

  2. Silas Longshot

    April 10, 2019 at 10:13 am

    Nutty Nancy deserves all the credits for creating this incohesive, incompetent, pile of leftist loonies. When you get nutcases like the two muzlims and AOC, then the regular band of boneheads look ‘normal’. What I wanna know is how the hell do these ‘freshmen’, who don’t even know where the restrooms are in their buildings yet, get on these seriously important ‘committees’. One would think they would look for people with some experience in these areas.

  3. Sharon L

    April 10, 2019 at 10:21 am

    Let the infighting sink the Democrats so we can get control back of the house and keep the senate! Get rid of the RINOs! MAGA! TRUMP 2020!Then maybe we can get something done!

  4. Tom

    April 10, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Dems eating their own… all they know is how to obstruct and resist— and they are applying these methods within their own party… I’ve always said the “enemy lies within”… now, with a closer look, Pelosi realizes that it actually lies within the Democrat Party…

    She has a huge job ahead of her, and if she wants to save her party, she’s going to need to align with Republicans and Independents just to save her party… Never in her life did she (or any of us) think that her leftist views would become the moderate side of the democrat party.

  5. Matt

    April 10, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Well… this is either awkward. Or embarrassing, or perhaps both.

  6. Mike_N.H.

    April 10, 2019 at 11:04 am

    As an American Born Citizen… let me get this all in prospective. The Leftist Extremeists want Billions of Taxpayers Dollars in the next two years of Spending for “Domestic Programs” and less for Defense Programs….. These SAME People are the Advocates for Open Borders and Allowing Millions upon Millions of Third World Peoples to Flood our Nation who will be totally Dependent on guess what? “Domestic Programs”. Welfare, Section 8 Housing, Food Stamps, getting stuck on Social Security Programs,,, THAT is WHY THEY want Those Billions of Increases in Domestic Programs… To Benefit the Illegal Aliens and FAUX Refugee Muslims the Democratic Party wants to Flood Our Country With. As an American Born Citizen, and life long taxpayer, who is now Retired only on Social Security.. I say to THEM HELL NO… YOU DON’T NEED BILLIONS MORE IN DOMESTIC SPENDING… TO FEATHER YOUR POLITICAL NEST to IMPORT AND TAKE CARE OF MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIEN LOFFERS…WHO WILL LEACH OFF OUR ECONOMY… YOU PEOPLE VIOLATED YOUR OWN OATH OF OFFICE Since YOU Concern Yourselves with THE WELFARE OF FOREIGN NATIONALS FIRST OVER U.S. CITIZENS.. AS WELL AS PASSING LAWS THAT ALLOW FOR MURDER OF INNOCENT BABIES,,, to MAKE ROOM FOR MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES THAT WILL BE DEPENDENT ON THE NATIONAL TREASURY.. THAT IS TREASON.

  7. Carol

    April 10, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    These is what happens when Congress let’s an old leader (Nancy) who has Alzheimer run the show.

    • MJ

      April 10, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      No, this is what happens when you give power of the House back to the Democrats and people in their district in this country allow known “anti” everything that concerns the United States to run for office and then vote them in, putting not one but many Foxes in the Hen house!! We, the American people are just as much at fault as the leaders on both side are because we have become complacent, comfortable and lazy! When everything is going well for us, we forget there are many that hate this country for its greatness and seek to destroy it from within! We then decide our vote is not important, it won’t make a difference, then we end up with an Obama presidency. Every vote counts, every voice counts, and every action counts! Put into action what our fore-fathers did, stand-up and be counted, call, write and march to Washington to let our voices be heard. We don’t need lobbyist to do it for us, let these representatives see we mean business! Teach your children from the age of understanding what is right from wrong, that living in a free country did not just happen overnight. It was brought about by men and women shedding their blood , sacrificing, dying for that right to be free but doing so with decent and moral values! Prepare them to make wise decisions. Last but not least, teach them the importance of GOING TO VOTE! Lead by example!
      2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV
      [14] If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

  8. Fran

    April 10, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Like they say Socialism sounds good to brainwashed people but what happens when you run out of taxpayers money. With everything free who is going to work.

  9. Fran

    April 10, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    This group of Anti Americans Democrats asking for billions to support their sanctuary cities and illegals are the same ones that wouldn’t give President Trumy 4 billion for the wall to secure our country.

  10. FAST EDDIE

    April 18, 2019 at 9:42 am

    And the games continue.

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