Analysis: The winners and losers of the Friday House Democrats’ messy crash | New

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WASHINGTON – Nancy Pelosi says she and a moderate Democratic senator who will play a leading role in deciding the fate of President Joe Biden’s platform – and possibly his political future – “talk enough.”

“So my message to, not to Manchin, I mean we talk enough, he knows what my message is, but with all due respect for the point of view he represents, I don’t agree “the California Democrat said of West. Virginia Senator Joe Manchin III Thursday. “We are friends, I respect him. He’s a good person. He is so in agreement with what is in the bill.

But not everything in a $ 1.7 trillion budget reconciliation bill that the House could consider as early as next week, which covers everything from prescription drugs to climate change.

As long as an assessment of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office aligns with cost projections compiled by the White House, moderate Democrats in the House say they will vote in favor of the reconciliation measure. And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York said in an Instagram video on Saturday that progressives – although she and five others who voted against a bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday remained upset over how Democratic leaders have passed it – are also on board.

The action will soon be transferred to the Senate, which is expected to make changes and send the measure back to the House. Pelosi faces a gradual revolt if Senate moderators get any major changes. That means the speaker and Manchin, a former University of West Virginia quarterback, will come together a lot in the coming weeks.

Here are the winners, the losers and those still fighting after several crazy weeks on the south side of the Capitol.

WINNERS

– Republican leaders. Granted, they didn’t have to do much here to get a W. That is to say, except for tweets and points scored with Republicans and Independents who voted Democrat the year. last. As the Virginia and New Jersey governor races showed last week, they can be drawn into the GOP column.

“Pelosi is trying to get this massive spending bill passed WITHOUT the Congressional Budget Office report on how much it costs,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La, tweeted Friday before the speaker agreed to d ‘wait for CBO tabs. “What is she trying to hide?” Taxpayers deserve to know exactly how much it will cost.

Whether or not the reconciliation measure becomes law, incumbents and GOP candidates have plenty of talking points about its cost, even after the moderates have lowered its initial price. Republicans have so far carried out one of Chinese strategist Sun Tzu’s mantras: “Ultimate excellence is not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” “

Democrats nearly handed vulnerable Republicans a victory with their ground procedure for passing the two measures. “They are presenting it as one bill,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. Ultimately, Pelosi chose to pass the infrastructure bill with 13 GOP votes, 228-206, alongside a rule that triggers a final reconciliation vote.

—Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The California Democrat, who hasn’t even said whether she’ll run for another term let alone try to remain the top House Democrat, has one goal: to pass both bills. She’s halfway there. On the one hand, the reconciliation process has been anything but fluid. But Pelosi undoubtedly knows the sporting adage that “a victory is a victory”.

– Progressive leaders. After blocking the train for weeks, Progressive Congressional Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., And her colleagues stepped aside. They could have orchestrated a mass protest against the infrastructure measure, but instead helped the speaker send it to Biden’s office. On reconciliation, they declared victory. “Ninety-eight percent of this bill has been pre-conference,” Jayapal said Friday. “Ninety-eight percent of that was agreed upon in a framework that President Biden presented (which) has now been translated into legislation. “

Jayapal has certainly flexed his political muscle. On Friday, however, she showed that if the most serious 2022 forecast is correct, one can go from a phantom speaker to a much less influential caucus leader in a single trip around the sun.

“Of course it’s worth it if we make people’s lives better,” Jayapal said when asked if passing the two bills would be worth losing the majority in the House of Democrats. “What is the alternative? Do nothing. I mean … it won’t get us anywhere. … Part of what we need to do is really understand the economic frustration that people have right now. “

LOSERS

– House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn. When the boss wins, subordinates often lose. This is the world of white collar work – and such is arguing, counting and securing votes in the House.

Barring a moderate or gradual reconciliation revolt, Hoyer and Clyburn will likely get the job done – but with the help of the speaker and Biden blowing up holdouts’ phones. Hoyer noted on Friday that a CBO score will take some time. But he and Clyburn knew the moderates wanted one some time ago. And it comes after Democratic leaders suppressed floor votes on both measures late last month for lack of sufficient votes.

– Moderate leaders. This group has had a difficult week. All eyes were on them on Friday, and the Democratic base may be reluctant to run in some districts after moderates took the reconciliation bill hostage with their CBO demand. And it came after progressives handed them the hot potato of reconciliation, seemingly foiling them in closed-door talks by securing changes on immigration and other political issues.

Democratic intermediaries like Stephanie Murphy of Florida – a president of the Blue Dog Coalition – and others like Kathleen Rice of New York, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia, Ed Case of Hawaii and Ron Kind of Wisconsin – returned home to explain their ascent to the CBO mountain. Will voters really be interested in the CBO’s score on election day 2022?

But the moderates did not leave the city completely flayed: their votes helped pass an infrastructure measure that both parties had wanted for a decade or more.

ON THE ROAD TO OT

—President Joe Biden. There is still a chance that both measures will reach his office, so the longtime senator who campaigned for the conduct of major legislation has yet to lose.

But he hasn’t won yet either – although he will certainly be happy when he signs the infrastructure bill. But Biden could use another amid a number of dismal polls about his performance and priorities at work.

It’s never great for a president when members of his own party say things like, as a senior Democratic House official did last week to Punchbowl News, “Where’s the president? Biden appeared to have kept enough Democrats on the infrastructure train after delivering White House remarks on a positive jobs report on Friday. “I ask every member of the House, member of the House of Representatives to vote ‘yes’,” he said, noting as he was returning to the Oval Office to work on the phone, “Right now.”

For a president whose number of approvals and disapprovals for the job has swung nearly 10 points since June, according to FiveThirtyEight, Biden had no choice but to show up.

– “Sinemanchin.” For Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, it will soon be time to put their cards on the table. The pair have been at the center of the Democrats versus Democrats drama for months. They demanded big changes, even though even Biden wasn’t sure exactly what either wanted.

Moderates and progressives alike, as long as the CBO score doesn’t contain any big surprises, seem to have decided it’s time to send something – anything – to the Senate. Some House Democrats and congressional observers have accused Sinemanchin of playing shyness to run out of time and kill the reconciliation bill, in large part because of concerns about their own political future if voters in their states balk. at the cost of two bills.

For this mercurial duo, it will soon be the game. Finally.

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© 2021 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All rights reserved. Visit cqrollcall.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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