While the media focus is on the Senate this week, it can’t be lost what House Democrats have done over the past few days. They are ramming their partisan reconciliation bill through committees, rejecting commonsenseamendments offered by Republicans and focusing more on their timeline than actually crafting a responsible bill.
Even members of their own party are raising serious concerns about this process. Here was Rep. Kurt Schrader earlier today during E&C’s markup:
REP. KURT SCHRADER: Instead, right now, we’re in this very non-unified, partisan process that’s going to take time to get through the House and the Senate. You know, it’s the exact opposite of what I heard the President articulate at the inauguration. Because the $900 billion relief package that the Problem Solvers Caucus, that I’m a member of, helped drive is only now rolling out. We have some time, colleagues, we have some time to do our job, which is represent this very diverse country and deliberate on what elements of these packages are probably better than others, and maybe should get our support – both Republicans and Democrats. That’s the essence of representative government. I don’t know of any legislation that can’t be improved, and yet, none of the committees of jurisdiction are probably going to be allowing amendments. I just don’t agree with that. I just don’t agree with that. It’s just not the way we’re supposed to be operating. That’s not the reason I got elected.
His full remarks can be seen here. Do his fellow Democrats agree with him? Do they have any interest in getting this right instead of doing it fast? Will they give the $3.5T in COVID relief that has already passed – and was agreed to in a bipartisan fashion – time to work before voting on a partisan basis to spend $2T more?
As Congress gets back to legislating, these questions are only going to grow louder if Democrats stay on this course.