House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) tore into President Joe Biden during an interview with Breitbart News for sending mixed signals with the White House’s policy stances on recent bills.
Emmer spoke ahead of the House’s anticipated passage of H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which the White House has said Biden will veto if the bill makes it to his desk in its current form.
“Remember, President Biden actually said he was going to veto a pro-criminal bill from the D.C. Council, too. In fact, he had his leadership in the Republican-controlled House, he had them whip against a vote that we had to favor law enforcement here in the District of Columbia,” Emmer said.
Biden was met with frustration from House Democrats after reversing course on the D.C. crime bill, which passed the House despite a majority of Democrats, 173 of them, voting against it. Their vote came after the White House had issued a policy memo saying the administration “oppose[d]” the legislation.
Biden proceeded to blindside congressional Democrats by announcing ahead of the Senate’s vote that he would sign the bill if it came to his desk. Perhaps fearing the perception of falling to the left of Biden on the measure, a majority of Senate Democrats ended up voting in favor of the bill and it passed 81 to 14, a stark deviation from the House’s vote split.
I support D.C. Statehood and home-rule – but I don’t support some of the changes D.C. Council put forward over the Mayor’s objections – such as lowering penalties for carjackings.
If the Senate votes to overturn what D.C. Council did – I’ll sign it.
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 2, 2023
“First time we’ve done anything to overrule the District of Columbia Council in 30 years, and guess what? After he said he was going to veto it, he changed his mind and he signed it,” Emmer said. “So, I don’t think the president carries a lot of credibility with his veto message.”
Biden is now once again ruffling feathers with his stances on legislation in the divided Congress as the Senate voted 68 to 23 to end the COVID public emergency declaration on Wednesday and as the House prepares to vote on a D.C. policing measure that passed through a House committee this week on partisan lines. Biden announced after the House voted on the COVID measure that he would not veto it, while he has not made his veto plans clear with the new D.C. bill.
Democrats are dismayed over a “perceived pattern of bait-and-switch” coming out of the White House, Politico Huddle noted.
Emmer coyly observed that the fact that two Texas Democrats, Reps. Henry Cuellar and Vincente Gonzalez, have revealed they plan to vote with Republicans on the sweeping energy package Thursday is a testament to “how impressed” they are with Biden’s veto messages.
“What you’re seeing right now is we are going to pass it with just Republican votes … but you’ve already got two Democrats that are public that they’re going to vote for H. R. 1, so don’t be surprised if there are more and that should tell everybody what they need to know about how impressed the Democrats are with Joe Biden’s veto threats.”
The bill, while expected to pass the House on Thursday, faces an uncertain future in the Senate. Energy and Commerce Committe chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told Breitbart News she hopes “at least that some of the provisions” of the lengthy bill will see a vote in the Senate.
“I certainly believe the Senate should give it strong consideration. This is a package that is about energy independence, bringing down the costs and securing supply chains. I’m hopeful. I’ve had some conversations [with senators] about permitting reform in particular,” Rodgers said, adding that she was optimistic “at least that some of the provisions would be considered in the Senate.”
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