Politics

‘Problem Solver’ Democrats demand Pelosi let them act like and vote with Republicans

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 01: Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) speaks at a "Stop Iran Rally," regarding the Iran nuclear deal on September 1, 2015 in New York City. Congress has until September 16 to either officially support or denounce the deal. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
When Joe Lieberman is your guide, you’re pretty fucked up.

More House Democrats who really want to vote like, and with, Republicans are threatening a tantrum and trying to get Nancy Pelosi to placate them. They’ve got a bunch of rules they want her to promise to adopt to make it easier for Republicans to pass legislation. Without that promise, they say, they won’t vote for her or any other candidate who doesn’t agree to their demands.

They are all members of the so-called “Problem Solvers” bipartisan caucus, a group that so-called moderate Republicans used as their shield to bring up all the time in their elections, trying to hide the fact that they all have voted with Trump more than 90 percent of the time. For some reason, the Democrats on the caucus want to give the remaining Republicans a larger say. Of course they are. Their spirit animal is Joe Lieberman.

Their demands are not helpful. There’s lots of rules reform that could help restore a functioning Congress, but these are just designed to help Republicans and Trump, including requiring any legislation that gets 290 co-sponsors get a floor vote, that any amendment that has at least 20 bipartisan cosponsors gets a vote, and that every new member in every new Congress gets a participation trophy in the form of a guaranteed committee vote on a bill they introduce, as long as the measure is bipartisan.

This is how a small minority in each party could hang up the whole House—it’s the tea party with a veneer of bipartisanship, but the result would be essentially the same. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), the incoming Rules Committee chairman, says all it would achieve would be making the House “chaotic” and unproductive. And he adds some shade. “What we’re not going to do is set up a situation where we allow this place to become the Senate.”

You would think the smack-down she’s given to the #FiveWhiteGuys in their attempt to force her hand would have provided a lesson for these guys. Even the ring-leader of that group, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) has backed down. He’s now engaged in an attempt to save face by saying he’ll settle for changes on the leadership team of Reps. Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and James E. Clyburn (SC). No one has stepped forward to challenge either of those two members, either.


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