Received this e-mail today from CREDO Action:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi is poised to once again become speaker of the House of Representatives.
Unfortunately, she is contemplating new congressional rules – pushed by corporate Democrats and Republicans – that would give Republicans veto power over huge parts of the Democratic agenda.1,2,3
Right now – before Leader Pelosi officially becomes speaker but after she has secured the support of most Democrats – is the prime moment to pressure her to stop considering plans that would sabotage Democrats and instead fight for a bold progressive agenda.
Future Speaker Pelosi is one of the most effective legislative leaders in recent history and one of the few women in a senior leadership position in the Democratic Party. That makes it all the more important that she get this decision right – and knows we will stand with her if she makes the right call.
There are three horrible ideas floating around that Leader Pelosi must reject:
- Caving to Republican deficit hysteria. Republicans blew up the deficit with massive military spending and the corporate handouts in the Trump Tax Scam. But Rep. Pelosi publicly committed Democrats to holding every bit of spending on a progressive agenda hostage to getting conservatives on board with revenue increases, a policy known as “pay-go.”4
- Allowing Republicans to set Democratic budget policy. The proposed rules for the new Congress include requiring a three-fifths supermajority for any income tax increase on individuals in the bottom 80 percent. The problem with this idea is that it gives Republicans power to block a progressive agenda. For instance, Medicare for All would save many Americans more on health care bills than they might pay in taxes, but under these rules, Republicans could veto it.5
- Letting Republicans pick the amendments that get votes. Democrats tried and tried to improve legislation since 2010 with amendments, and Republicans mostly refused to even listen. But now, a gang of corporate Democrats and Republicans – with the Orwellian name of “The Problem Solvers Caucus” – is pushing a rule that would give an amendment with 20 co-sponsors from each party preferential treatment, and Rep. Pelosi is entertaining the idea.6
It is hard not to see in these changes a plan to rig the system against progressives by making it harder for them to offer amendments and pass legislation. Every one of these proposals would steal power from the triumphant progressive wing of the party and give it the corporate Democrats and Republicans who just got shellacked at the polls.
Progressive priorities like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, college for all and universal childcare are just some of the crucial pieces of legislation these congressional rules under consideration could end up blocking. The only good news is that there is still time for Leader Pelosi to back down from these disastrous ideas – and for us to make clear we will back her if she does.
Tell future Speaker Pelosi: Don't give Republicans veto power over the Democratic agenda. Click below to sign the petition:
Thank you for speaking out,
Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets
- David Dayen, “Nancy Pelosi promises that Democrats will handcuff the Democratic agenda if they retake the House,” The Intercept, Sep. 4, 2018.
- Philip Klein, “Nancy Pelosi pushing rules change that would kneecap liberals,” The Washington Examiner, Nov. 16, 2018.
- Colby Itkowitz, “Who are the ‘Problem Solvers’ trying to hold Nancy Pelosi’s speakership hostage?” The Washington Post, Nov. 27, 2018.
- Dayen, “Nancy Pelosi promises that Democrats will handcuff the Democratic agenda if they retake the House.”
- Klein, “Nancy Pelosi pushing rules change that would kneecap liberals.”
- Itkowitz, “Who are the ‘Problem Solvers’ trying to hold Nancy Pelosi’s speakership hostage?“