“CURSED”: Democrats Turn Against Each Other
Congressional Democrats appear to be turning on each other, with one even calling their party’s planned annual retreat “cursed” due to division within.
We don’t say these things lightly. The House narrowly avoided a government shutdown by passing a $1.5 trillion omnibus bill late last night around 10:00 PM, which is TWELVE HOURS later than the time for which the vote had been scheduled. Apparently, many House Democrats were not happy with spending cuts inside the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so flabbergasted, she curiously compared herself to a Biblical figure: “You’re telling Noah about the flood. I didn’t get what I wanted in the bill.”
The original language in the bill, drafted by Democrats, included another $15 billion in COVID relief funds, which would be paid for by clawing back previous COVID relief funds from states that had not used it. This provision did not sit well with some House Democrats as well as Republicans. Perhaps that’s why Speaker Pelosi put the bill up at 2:00 AM and called for a 10 AM vote, clearly knowing opponents to the provision wouldn’t have enough time to read and fully analyze the bill.
Even a number of House Democrats, who traditionally hate spending cuts, objected to this provision. The nearly 16 billion dollar relief language was ultimately cut from the bill in order to get it passed, leaving Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrats “heartbroken” that they didn’t get their way. Pelosi even released a letter last night blaming the removal of the relief funds on Republicans, glossing over the fact that members of her own party objected to the plan as well.
Her version of what happened does not align with a CNN report:
At least a dozen Democrats threatened to revolt and paraded in and out of Pelosi's office throughout Wednesday morning and into the afternoon, some noticeably upset and trying to avoid talking to the press. Some of the lawmakers spotted leaving Pelosi's office include Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Debbie Dingell, both of Michigan, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.
"This deal was cut behind closed doors. Members found out this morning. This is completely unacceptable," Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota told CNN as she walked out of Pelosi's office. Minnesota was one of 30 states at risk of losing Covid relief funding.
The division among Democrats is palpable, despite the Speaker’s assertions to the contrary. ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett shared his analysis of yesterday’s events and the cracks it revealed in the Democrats’ armor.
They were certainly in total disarray yesterday. This is something that just does not happen when the same party controls every seat at the table, as is the case right now, and was the case on this bill yesterday. Speaker Pelosi put out this language at 2 AM yesterday morning. More than 2,700 pages long, spends $1.5 trillion, at least 400 earmarks by the latest count inside the bill, and yet members were only given those overnight hours to read the bill. It wasn’t Republicans in the end that caused this problem. The vote for the rule, think about this, it was already open on the floor of the House before Speaker Pelosi realized that she had a problem inside her own party. And I’ll just tell you, there are reports out that there were 10 or 15 Democrats that were upset with this COVID provision. I can tell you it was more like 80. There were more like 80, maybe even as many as 100 Democrats from more than 30 states that were upset about this.
Let me just very quickly explain this, this was a White House request for $16 billion in COVID relief funding and they were going to offset it by pulling back money that had not been spent from previous COVID stimulus bills. Governors from Blue states and House Democrats objected to the point that they were going to take this bill down. So they had to keep that rule vote open for hours and hours and hours, they had to pull that COVID funding out of the bill, they had to go back to the rules committee, write a new bill, and put it back on the floor in two seperate votes to finally get it through. Just absolute chaos. And Speaker Pelosi can say anything she wants, blame it on Senate Republicans. There were no Senate Republicans involved in this. This was 80 to 100 of her members that would not pass her bill.
The vote also came on the same day the Democrats were scheduled to begin their first in-person conference in Philadelphia, apparently geared toward strengthening and uniting the party. Congressman Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin and member of the House Appropriations Committee, according to CNN, objected to the initial bill, and had a “tense meeting” in Pelosi’s office. Rep. Pocan later quipped about the conference: “This retreat is cursed.”
While we don’t believe in curses, it certainly sounds like congressional Democrats might be in for a couple of uncomfortable days together in the City of Brotherly Love.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the Omnibus bill, as well as special guest Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee who joined us to discuss how we must move forward to overcome our current energy crisis.
Watch the full broadcast below.
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