Infighting: 15 Democrats Look to Gain Power over Infrastructure Negotiations

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, leaves a photo opportunity with the female Democratic members of the 116th Congress outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen Democrats are looking to gain power over the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package to benefit themselves.

With so many Democrats infighting for position over President Biden’s massive tax and spending package, the package is not likely to ultimately appease all congressional Democrats, thereby throwing a wrench into Biden’s chances of accomplishing his radical agenda.

The lawmakers and their demands are as follows:

  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is threatening to vote against the package if more money is not allocated to subsidize housing.
  • Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have stated they will not vote for the large $3.5 trillion dollar price tag of the package amid inflation that Biden has spawned.
  • Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) has demanded that historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) should get more subsidies than $2 billion already budgeted.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has stated she will not vote for the $1.2 trillion ‘bipartisan’ infrastructure bill until House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-NY) passes the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
  • Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) said they will not vote “yes” on the $3.5 trillion package unless the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill is passed by the House.
  • Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) said they will oppose the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill until the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package is “on its way into law.”
  • Reps. Chuy Garcia (D-IL) and Lou Correa (D-CA) asserted they will block the reconciliation bill until it provides amnesty for million of illegal migrants. But amnesty was blocked by Senate parliamentarian Sunday.
  • Reps. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Tom Suozzi (D-NY) all have claimed they will be a “no” vote on the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package unless it forbids state and local deduction cap (SALT).

The Democrats’ grasps for power have worried other Democrats. “If any member of Congress is not concerned that this could fall apart, they need treatment,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) told Politico.

“I wish that we could all be more on the same page, in terms of timing, of the need to push the [American Families Plan],” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) also told the publication. “I’m hopeful we are going to have a meeting of the minds and not wait until next year… we better have a Plan B.”

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) added that the Democrat leadership is confused by the enormous amount of complicated congressional procedures to pass Biden’s agenda, and no one knows “where this [package] is gonna go.”

“None of us know where this is gonna go,” Phillips said. “This is where leadership is made or broken, plain and simple. And that’s true of the president, that’s true of speakers, that’s true of majority leaders.”

“I am very tired of it,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) told Politico “I don’t think they are making their decisions based on the needs of the American or even the people in their own state.” He added that they seem more motivated by “corporate interest.”

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 

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