In their fight over trillions of dollars, their paramount policy goals and perhaps their political fate, this isn’t helping: Democratic progressives and centrists say they don’t trust each other. They’re tossing around words like “stupid” and “insanity” and they’re drawing lines in the sand.
Congressional majorities of both parties have rich histories of infighting when it comes to enacting their priorities, even when they control the White House and both chambers of Congress. Democrats had to overcome stark internal divisions in 2010 to enact President Barack Obama’s health care law. The GOP fell short in 2017 when it failed to repeal that statute, President Donald Trump’s top goal.
This time, Democrats’ internal battling over a 10-year, $3.5 trillion package of social and environmental initiatives comes with virtually no margin for error and lots at stake….
Yet instead of waiting for that accord to be struck, House leaders were honoring “some stupid, arbitrary deadline” that moderates demanded to debate and vote on the infrastructure bill this week, complained Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who heads the nearly 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus.
As for moderates, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., told reporters Wednesday that she wanted Biden, party leaders and outside allies like labor unions to lobby House Democrats to back the infrastructure measure.
“If the vote were to fail tomorrow or be delayed, there would be a significant breach in trust that would slow the momentum in moving forward in delivering the Biden agenda,” said Murphy, leader of the centrist House Blue Dog Coalition….
“It either shows Democrats can be trusted to govern” or not, he said of how the party will handle the current fight.
“It’s like the gunfight at the OK Corral,” Lawrence said. “Everybody has their guns pointed at each other. You either pull the trigger or go back into the saloon and try to work this thing out.”