House Democrats are growing increasingly anxious and frustrated, months after the party took complete control of Congress and the White House, over a failure to advance their far-left agenda.
Specifically, House Democratic discouragement is growing as they wait on the evenly-divided Senate to act on several pieces of legislation they have passed but that are now stalled because of the filibuster rule, according to The Hill.
As of this week, the current congressional session has marked 200 days and House Dems have passed dozens of pieces of legislation that range from new firearms-related regulations and pandemic relief to a massive overhaul of state voting laws, immigration reform, new labor union protections, and infrastructure spending.
But most of those bills have gone nowhere in the Senate because Republicans can and have used the filibuster rule to blank them even though Democrats control the upper chamber thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
“And when it comes to infrastructure, many House Democrats are irritated by the prospect of potentially being asked to rubber-stamp whatever legislation comes out of the delicate bipartisan Senate negotiations,” The Hill reported.
This past week, a group of 31 House Democrats led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Pete DeFazio of Oregon warned Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York they are “concerned about suggestions that the House may take up any Senate product without input or modification.”
DeFazio, along with other Democrats on the committee, is demanding that more provisions be included in a massive $760 billion infrastructure bill the House passed earlier this month. The group argued that “we should reject any effort to categorically exclude the thorough, transparent, and transformational process undertaken by the House.”
The rising sense among House Democrats that Senate counterparts are ignoring them and especially the far-left progressive faction of the party is adding to their frustration as bipartisan discussions between senators continue on without resolution after a group of them agreed on an outline for the infrastructure bill with the White House in June, The Hill added.
Overall, however, Democrats in the House are feeling as though all of their legislative accomplishments thus far have been for naught.
“It is frustrating for members of the House of Representatives to work very hard in committee and on the floor to pass legislation they believe is in the best interests of our country and the best interests of our people and to see a Senate who somehow is hoist on the petard of the sentiment that you have to have a supermajority to pass legislation that the House sends them or supermajority of legislation they propose themselves,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), complained to The Hill.
He went on to tell the outlet that it’s not just House lawmakers who are growing frustrated with the Senate, which he called “the graveyard for all ideas and legislation that a minority believes is not supportable.”
“I think it undermines people’s faith in democracy, undermines the people’s belief that their will can be manifested by their representatives in the House and in the Senate,” Hoyer told the outlet. “The American people are getting frustrated, and I don’t blame them.”
Nevertheless, centrist Democrats — notably Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — have said they don’t favor getting rid of the filibuster, even if they support much of the legislation the House has passed.
That, too, may be adding to House Democrats’ angst.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the Senate has waited long enough to act.
“I think it’s unacceptable that we’ve waited this long,” Jayapal said. “I respect [that] Leader Schumer has got to be able to pull together 50 votes. But at the end of the day, time’s a-wastin’.”
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