Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-02-23 02:52:00 –
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Monday, February 22, 2021 | 11:52 pm
Washington — Democratic leaders have strong power on their side as Congress prepares for the party’s first vote $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout bill: Will Democrats dare to vote to shatter the lead-off initiative of new President Joe Biden?
The Democratic’s thin 10-vote House of Representatives, in the face of strong Republican opposition, leaves little room for leaving, and no one in the 50-50 Senate, which is dominated only by Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. Not in. The domestic democratic conflict remains over raising the minimum wage, how much assistance to provide to struggling state and local governments, and whether to extend the emergency unemployment allowance for another month.
Still, as the House Budget Committee is working on a 591-page package on Monday, Democrats across the party’s spectrum are mostly willing to embarrass Biden with a remarkable defeat a month after his inauguration. Not shown.
Such a setback was Biden, the new Senate leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y. , And to California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, an early blow that could be her last term as Speaker of the House. Also, failure to effectively unite against clear enemies such as pandemics and icy economies could risk overall impact on Congressional Democrats at the risk of affecting the 2022 elections.
“I’m thinking very seriously before voting against the legislative agenda of my party’s president,” said Democratic consultant Ian Russell. However, he warned that lawmakers would have to decide for themselves “how their votes would be held” at home.
The problem that caused the deepest division is the progressive-led impetus to raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 per hour in five years. The current minimum of $ 7.25 came into effect in 2009.
“It was a top priority for progressives,” Republican Progressivist Caucus Chairman Pramila Jayapal said in an interview last week. “This is what we have done and promised to the American people.”
The overall bailout bill, including a minimum wage increase, is expected to clear the House of Representatives, and perhaps the Senate. But the fate of raising the minimum wage is volatile in the Senate, and Joe Manchin, West Virginia, and perhaps the most conservative Democrat at the Chamber of Commerce, says $ 15 is too high. Democratic Senator Kyrsten Cinema suggested she might oppose it too.
Even more ominous, Senators are expected to quickly decide whether the minimum wage provision should be removed from the bill. Under the expedited procedure used by the Democrats, it is not possible to include items that are primarily non-budgetary, and it is unclear whether the Democrats have votes to overturn such decisions.
But since virtually every vote is required, every Democrat has leverage, so there was no obvious threat to withdraw the entire bill unless they gave way.
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders, his chamber of commerce minimum wage sponsor, said Democrats must “act boldly” and approve packages that involve raising the minimum wage. He answered indirectly when asked if he was willing to compromise on the overall bill to keep the plan.
“All Democrats understand this moment of history, a moment of unprecedented pain and suffering for working families. We support the President, do what the Americans want, and go through that package. It is absolutely necessary to do it, “he said. interview.
Congressman Brad Schneider, who represents the moderates of the House of Representatives, was also disgusted by the uncontrollable demands. The path to success is “do not compromise the principles and try as hard as you can to get as much as you can to know another day tomorrow,” he said.
The House Budget Committee pushed the bill on Monday on a nearby party line 19-16, perhaps setting it to pass the House on the weekends. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, voted against, but after getting off the plane, he said he misunderstood the vote and supported the bill.
“We need positive and bold action before our country is hurt deeper and forever,” said Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky, citing the evolving coronavirus strain. .. Said.
Republicans said the bill’s increase in the minimum wage and increased unemployment allowance would cost jobs and discourage people from looking for jobs, saying much of their spending wasted.
“This is a wrong plan for the American working class,” said Republican Rep. Jason Smith, a top Republican member of the Budget Committee. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is pushing for a “band-aid policy” across the Capitol where the Democratic Party is “planning for another year’s stagnation rather than trying to succeed.” Said.
The bill will provide millions of low- and middle-income earners $ 1,400 in payments, increase child tax deductions, and provide a $ 400 federal unemployment allowance each week until August. It will provide state and local governments, closed schools, COVID-19 vaccines and tests, and hundreds of billions of dollars to struggling airlines and other businesses.
History has abundant examples of lawmakers facing crucial decisions about whether to support the party’s presidential priorities, and the results are mixed.
President Donald Trump’s Trademark Effort to Abolish Obama’s Affordable Care Act, most notably in favor of Senator John McCain of Arizona after midnight, on the three Republican departures in 2017 Crushed. McCain’s vote caused endless hostility from Trump. Of the other two, Maine Senator Susan Collins was reelected last year, and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski is facing a reelection in 2022.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton’s $ 500 billion deficit reduction plan passed the House of Representatives with one vote after agreeing to be endorsed by Congressman Marjorie Margolies Mezbinski. Mezbinsky, who had previously criticized inadequate spending cuts, voted “yes” after Clinton called her at the house cloak during the vote.
“I told him I knew how important it was and wouldn’t let it down, but I said I would only be a tiebreak vote,” she recalled in an interview last week. I did. She said to him, “If I pull you up, you will lose this seat,” she said.
Both scenarios have been executed.
The package passed 218-216 and was saved by her definitive vote. And after the divorce, a member of the Diet, now named Margollies, lost re-election two years later from a Republican-rich district on the outskirts of Philadelphia. She never returned to Congress.
However, one of her children, Marc Mezvinsky, married Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, in 2010.