Posts tagged with "Nancy Pelosi"

House approves $3.5 trillion budget plan

August 26, 2021

On Tuesday, August 24, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a budget framework that will pave the way for Democrats to spend up to $3.5 trillion on a sweeping economic package to expand the social safety net that President Joe Biden has made a signature agenda item, reports CNN

.The House vote came after painstaking negotiations between progressive Democratic leaders and a group of moderates yielded a compromise that paved the way for passage.

Based on that compromise, the House voted on a rule to advance both the budget deal and a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. Due to a procedural maneuver, passage of the rule also approved the budget resolution, bypassing a separate vote. In a concession to moderates, the rule also directs the House to take up the bipartisan bill by September 27.

“I’m sorry that we couldn’t land the plane [Monday] night, and that you all had to wait,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her caucus on Tuesday morning, according to a Democratic aide in the room. “But that’s just part of the legislative progress … I think we’re close to landing the plane.”

The Senate approved the budget resolution earlier this month. Budget resolutions do not become law and are not signed by the President, but the framework will act as an important policy blueprint. Both chambers must adopt the resolution for Democrats to use a process known as budget reconciliation to later pass legislation addressing the climate crisis, aid for families, health care and more that cannot be defeated by a GOP filibuster in the Senate.

The budget resolution includes a set of instructions for House and Senate committees that will allow them to write reconciliation legislation with a total price tag of as much as $3.5 trillion. The final reconciliation package, once it is drafted, is expected to be considered in the fall.

With regard to the $3.5 trillion topline number for this package, the President has been clear: this is the number that will honor his vision to Build Back Better,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Democrats over the weekend. “This is the number that has been agreed to in the Senate and is now before us in the House. Accordingly, we will write a reconciliation bill with the Senate that is consistent with that topline.”

Representative Henry Cuellar, a moderate Democrat from Texas, told CNN on Tuesday that “good progress” has been made when asked if moderates have reached a deal with leadership.

In a clear signal of the high stakes moment, Biden himself joined members of his senior team in making calls to some of the holdout moderates, according to a White House official. Biden’s senior aides and top legislative affairs officials have been in regular touch with the moderate group for several weeks and publicly backed Pelosi’s approach. But several House Democrats had quietly voiced desire for Biden himself to weigh in—something Biden did with some members Monday.

The optimistic tone Tuesday morning stood in stark contrast to the heated division on display Monday evening, when tension in the Democratic caucus came to a boiling point in a heated, expletive-laden meeting. Multiple sources confirmed that lawmakers grew visibly angry when Pelosi emphasized lawmakers shouldn’t “squander” the opportunity to pass these bills with their majority in the House.

Democrats have ambitious goals for the legislative package, which opens the door for them to implement key priorities across a wide range of policy issues. Republicans are steadfastly opposed to the effort and have denounced it as a reckless partisan tax and spending spree.

According to a summary of the budget resolution released after Democrats formally unveiled the measure the measure seeks to establish universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds and make community college tuition-free for two years. Among other provisions, it calls for the establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps; adds new dental, vision and hearing benefits to Medicare coverage; and would make an “historic level” of investment in affordable housing.

The budget resolution sets a target date of September 15 for committees to submit their reconciliation legislation.

Democrats will ultimately be subject to constraints on what they can include under the budget reconciliation process. Provisions have to directly impact the budget, and the Senate parliamentarian may rule that certain priorities cannot be included as a result. The parliamentarian is responsible for advising the chamber on how its rules, protocols and precedents operate.

Research contact: @CNN

As Trump government shutdown persists, 800K workers wonder when they will see paychecks

December 26, 2018

Don’t hold your breath: A partial government shutdown remains in effect after funding expired for roughly 25% of the federal government—affecting 800,000 employees—when the clock struck midnight on December 22. It is anybody’s guess when it will end, but chances are it won’t be soon, according to a report by CNN..

The president’s incoming Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Sunday that “it is very possible that the shutdown will go beyond [December] 28th and into the new Congress.”

A spokesperson for incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told CNN on Sunday, “If Director Mulvaney says the Trump Shutdown will last into the New Year, believe him—because it’s their shutdown.”

Negotiations between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration over the President’s demands for $5 billion for a border wall have so far not yielded an agreement, making it likely that the shutdown will continue until after Christmas.

Indeed, the Senate adjourned on December 22 with no deal to re-open the government—and the next actual session is not scheduled until December 27. Lawmakers can travel home for Christmas and won’t have to worry about being called back to vote until a deal can be reached, but GOP leaders told senators that if there is no deal by Thursday, they would not have to return for that session, sources have told CNN.

Both House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Schumer have said that the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives will pass a bill to stop the shutdown if it lasts into the new Congress.

“If President Trump and Republicans choose to continue this Trump Shutdown, the new House Democratic majority will swiftly pass legislation to re-open government in January,” the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement after the shutdown started.

According to the CNN report, House Republicans passed a spending bill that included an additional $5 billion for the wall last week, but the legislation is considered dead on arrival in the Senate where Democrats have said they would not support it. Any spending bill needs at least some Democratic votes to pass in the Senate.

Vice President Mike Pence proposed spending $2.5 billion on border security, including the wall, in a stopgap spending bill during meetings on Friday night and Saturday afternoon with Schumer, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Several of the sources said there were policy additions and restrictions included in the proposal to try to bridge the gap. But Democrats said the number and the details tied to it aren’t acceptable.

Following the Saturday meeting, a Schumer spokesman said, “The Vice President came in for a discussion and made an offer. Unfortunately, we’re still very far apart.”

Key parts of the federal government have been impacted by the shutdown, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the Interior Department, the State Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Despite the fact that the Justice Department will be impacted, special counsel Robert Mueller’s office will be able to continue working. The SCO “is funded from a permanent indefinite appropriation and would be unaffected in the event of a shutdown,” a Justice Department spokesperson told CNN previously.

Typically in the event of a shutdown, some federal employees deemed essential continue to work, but their pay is withheld until the shutdown is over, while other federal employees are placed on furlough, meaning they are effectively put on a leave of absence without pay. Congress can move to order that furloughed employees be paid retroactively after a shutdown is over, though that is not guaranteed.

An estimated 800,000 federal employees may be impacted by the partial shutdown, CNN said—either by having to work during it while their pay is withheld until it ends or by being furloughed.

More than 420,000 government workers are expected to work without pay in a partial shutdown, according to a fact sheet released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee. That estimate includes more than 41,000 federal law enforcement and correctional officers. In addition, more than 380,000 federal employees would be placed on furlough, according to the fact sheet.

Research contact: @ckmarie

Pressure group led by Steve Bannon spends $3 million on ads ahead of midterms

October 16, 2018

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon‘s political arm is spending $3 million on digital ads targeted at getting out the Republican vote ahead of the midterms, he told ABCNews.Go on October 14.

The new push, just three weeks before the election, is funded by Bannon’s new outside political group, a 501(c) 4, called Citizens of the American Republic, which he founded in August “in order to advance the ideals of Economic Nationalism and American Sovereignty.”

Groups under 501 (c) 4 are social welfare organizations that must not be organized for profit and “must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare,” according to the IRS.

Bannon will be out on the campaign trail stumping for Republican candidates who are considered vulnerable to what is being called the Blue Wave of Democratic victories in the November midterm elections. His message: Although President Donald Trump isn’t on the ballot in 2018, the midterm election is a referendum on his presidency.

He says he will travel to 10 states—Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Michigan, Arizona, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas,and Florida—to spread the message that the president is at war with the Democrats, and that the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a preview to impeachment hearings that the Democrats will try to hold against Trump.

“Trump has delivered the goods. Now it’s time for the deplorables to deliver the votes,” Steve Bannon told ABC on October 14.

Bannon’s political strategist Sam Nunberg told the network news outlet, “If the president continues to communicate that the ‘Democrat [Nancy] Pelosi Mob’ will impeach him if they are in power, we are highly confident we can hold them at the gates and keep the House in Republican hands. A red wave is rising.”

Research contact: @CitizensAR