Democrats in battleground districts have reportedly been trying to persuade the House leadership to consider breaking up the president’s “marquee legislation,” the Build Back Better (BBB) spending bill, into “a series of politically popular provisions that would appeal to centrist voters and core Democrats alike.”
The Washington Post reported that vulnerable House Democrats have asked to do this to show constituents they were able to achieve something since Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he could not vote for the bill, effectively killing the larger spending measure.
The report noted that, while their persuasion has yet to be successful, they hoped to vote on smaller measures such as “curbing prescription drug costs and extending the child tax credit” so they could attempt to “make a case that they can improve voters’ lives economically despite soaring inflation and other issues that have dragged down Biden’s approval ratings.”
Member’s reportedly pushed back at the leadership in early January when House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said breaking up the bill would be “abandoning the potentially transformative giant package,” while under the impression that the massive spending bill could still pass.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), a vulnerable member whom Republicans are looking to unseat, reportedly told Hoyer, “I don’t care.” She said:
What I don‘t want to do is have the Democratic caucus just beat their heads against the wall for months. We need a timeline here. If there is still hope for Manchin to agree, we need to figure out when that’s going to be and what we are doing if he doesn’t meet that deadline because in the past, he hasn’t. What’s our next plan?
During a meeting at the Democrats’ campaign committee headquarters, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly in attendance, Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN), another vulnerable member whom Republicans are looking to unseat, suggested that the leadership should bring up smaller bills in the House until the Senate brings up the vote on the president’s “marquee legislation.”
The Post reported, according to three aides familiar with the meeting:
Even if the bills face no chance of passage in the Senate, members argued that it is still time well spent so they can have an arsenal of proof for voters that House Democrats are meeting the moment and addressing their concerns.
Pelosi was described as “receptive” to their concern but did not make any promises.
A senior Democrat aide to a vulnerable member told the Post under anonymity:
[Democrats] have to do something, even if it’s just one thing like universal pre-K and universal child care. We have to do something politically to A: Give us something to run on, and B: We won’t be in power for a while.
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), another vulnerable member that Republicans are looking to unseat, said, “People are scared of an overreaching agenda at this point in time.”
Schrader added, “I‘m going to be campaigning on and talking about the work we’ve actually already done. It’d be nice to do a big broader piece, but if this is not exactly the time, so be it.”
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter.