President Joe Biden and leaders of the Democratic party are facing an increasing number of obstacles in their fight to pass the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, including backlash from within the party.
According to the New York Post, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will face a brutal leadership test as the package comes up for a vote this week, with several high-profile progressive Democrats dissenting due to a number of key items that have been stripped from the bill.
Who’s saying what?
Because of the already-slim majority that Democrats currently hold in the House, if Pelosi loses more than four Democrat votes on the upcoming vote, it’s doomed for failure.
Even with the slim majority, Pelosi typically doesn’t have many worries about losing party support on a given bill — especially one that’s being pushed so hard by the White House. However, due to recent modifications of the bill, including the $15 per hour federal minimum wage hike being stripped out, some Democrats are taking to social media to express their dissent.
Firebrand progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) raised eyebrows this weekend after she retweeted a highly critical post by fellow Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), who made clear that she’s “frankly disgusted” by her colleagues on allowing certain key items to be deleted from the bill.
This trend is outrageous:
Reducing thresholds for payments (cutting off ~400k New Jerseyans)
Cuts to weekly payments
What are we doing here? I’m frankly disgusted with some of my colleagues and question whether I can support this bill.
— Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (@RepBonnie) March 5, 2021
Watson Coleman posted a follow-up tweet asking what the point was of being the “Party of the People” if Democrats insist on finding ways to toss out more items from the bill that they believe could help struggling Americans.
Omar drops a bomb
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) joined Ocasio-Cortez and Watson Coleman in taking a dig at the leadership of the Democratic party, making a stunning comment on television comparing current COVID-19 relief efforts under Biden to the bills that were passed under former President Donald Trump.
“We obviously are now ultimately sending money to less people than the Trump administration and the Senate majority Republicans,” Omar said in a recent CNN interview. She went on to add that it’s nothing less than a failure if the party can’t deliver on its promises to the American people.
Some, however, believe that the progressive wing of the party is bluffing, including political strategist Susan del Percio. She suggested that what the progressive lawmakers are saying online and on television is nothing more than political posturing.
“When it really comes down to it, I don’t think AOC and the rest will try and sink this bill,” del Percio said. “And I think this will go to the president’s desk by Wednesday.”
For Pelosi’s sake, del Percio better be right, because if the bill fails to pass due to the Speaker being unable to rally her caucus to back the cause, that’ll be an entirely new can of worms opened for Pelosi.