They’re tossing around words like “stupid” and “insanity” and they’re drawing lines in the sand
In their fight over trillions of dollars, their paramount policy goals and perhaps their political fate, this isn’t helping: Democratic progressives and centrists say they don’t trust each other. They’re tossing around words like “stupid” and “insanity” and they’re drawing lines in the sand, the Associated Press reports.
Congressional majorities of both parties have rich histories of infighting when it comes to enacting their priorities, even when they control the White House and both chambers of Congress. Democrats had to overcome stark internal divisions in 2010 to enact President Barack Obama’s health care law. The GOP fell short in 2017 when it failed to repeal that statute, President Donald Trump’s top goal.
This time, Democrats’ internal battling over a 10-year, $3.5 trillion package of social and environmental initiatives comes with virtually no margin for error and lots at stake.
They’ll need every Democratic vote in the 50-50 Senate and all but three in the House to succeed. Facing that arithmetic, public declarations of distrust for each other do little to promote the healing they’ll need to avoid sending the legislative essence of Joe Biden’s presidency down in flames, with potential long-term consequences.
“It’s not healthy for the Democrats to be issuing ultimatums about tactics” against each other, said Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. “It’s politically, existentially important to us to be successful. We fail, we’re doomed.”
Those ultimatums were coming to a head Thursday, the day House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said her chamber would vote on another measure pivotal to Biden’s domestic vision — a $1 trillion package of highway, high-speed internet and other infrastructure improvements. She’s suggested, though, that the showdown vote might be delayed.
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