Since her victory during the 2018 midterms, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has used her position to maintain a seemingly iron grip on Democrats, as she doggedly opposed President Trump on the issue of increases to border security.
Now, however, Pelosi’s hold on the reigns of the Democratic Party appears to be weakening, as several party members have recently sided with Republicans on a number of issues, including abortion and anti-Semitism.
For Pelosi, the rise of young upstarts within her own party, such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, signals her growing lack of control over Democrats heading into the 2020 election cycle.
In the early stages of her current Speakership, Nancy Pelosi was celebrated in the media for exerting tight control over her new House majority. That discipline has since slipped considerably, with many rank-and-file members siding with Republicans on motions to recommit (will any Democrats sign onto a GOP-led discharge petition to force an anti-infanticide vote?), followed by a disgraceful and shambolic attempt to condemn anti-Semitism within their ranks.
With hardcore progressives now going to war with the DCCC over its incumbent protection policies, and Pelosi tossing cold water on radical proposals like the Green New Deal and single-payer healthcare, it looks like House leadership has decided that attempting to craft and introduce an annual budget would rip their caucus apart. So they’re not going to try.
Despite intense internal disagreements and disparate agendas, recent Republican majorities managed to produce budgets. Congress is, in fact, required by law to pass budgets annually. Pelosi’s Democrats won’t even try because their ideological rifts are too deep. This is a pitiful abdication of responsibility, a political dodge, and a poor reflection on their seriousness as legislators.
“Show me your budget, show me your values,” Pelosi intoned, over and over again. Where is her party’s budget? Where are their values? Apparently, they can’t agree on these fundamental questions, so they’re punting.
It’s worth pointing out that Senate Democrats took the same craven approach for four consecutive years (2010-2014) when they were most recently in the majority, at the behest of Chuck Schumer.
The point was to shield members from tough votes. They ended up losing control of the upper chamber anyway. Rather than offering voters a blueprint of what they would like to do with the federal budget (leftists want wild spending, moderates are worried about taxes and GOP attacks), House Democrats are merely signaling that they want large, automatic spending increases — with no details or priorities specified: