In part due to her own scheming, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has found herself boxed in on multiple fronts, with fast-approaching deadlines and infighting between moderate and progressive Democrats threatening to delay or derail crucial legislation.
Pelosi’s frustrations over the situation seemed to boil over on Wednesday when a reporter questioned the speaker on how she’s handling one of the nation’s most critical issues: raising the national debt limit.
“What are you talking about?!”
According to reports, the ceiling set by Congress on how much debt the nation can accumulate will likely be reached by mid-October. Amid threats of default, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders on the Hill are scrambling to try and pass a bill to up that limit before we get there.
But they have little support from Republicans in the effort, and even a few moderate Democrats have been caught grumbling.
“It looks like the debt limit extension might not advance in the Senate,” a reporter said to Pelosi on Wednesday, referencing the development, according to The Daily Wire. “Why get mad at members, why twist the arms of moderates if this is not going to move anywhere?”
Pelosi took a beat before hitting back. “What are you talking about?!” she fired at the journalist. “We have a responsibility to uphold, to lift up the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That’s what we have to do,” the speaker said, as The Daily Wire reported.
“These members have all voted for this last week,” she continued, referring to the House. “So if they’re concerned about how it might be in an ad, it’s already in an ad. It’s already in an ad.” Pelosi also said “we cannot predicate our actions in the House on what could happen in the Senate.”
“We can when we’re coming to agreement on a bill. But in terms of this, I have no patience for people not voting for that,” she retorted. Take a look at the moment for yourself below.
Pelosi snaps at a reporter questioning her strategy on the debt ceiling: “What are you talking about?!” pic.twitter.com/1vsgvDkGjS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2021
Problem of her own making
While Speaker Pelosi raged at the journalist, the source of her frustration isn’t on the right, but rather, is represented in the current stalemate between moderate and progressive Dems over two Biden-backed spending packages: the more limited $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure deal favored by moderates, and the broader $3.5 trillion social and climate agenda spending package supported by progressives.
Pelosi had previously linked those two separate but related pieces of legislation together, essentially holding the easily passable infrastructure bill hostage to appease progressives who needed leverage to get moderates on board with the larger tax and spending bill.
Now, however, Pelosi has been forced to tear those two bills apart, according to National Review, after moderate Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) made it crystal clear that they will not support the $3.5 trillion package in its current form. It looks like the walls are finally closing in — and just in time for midterms.