I guess we can consider this bluff called:
‘AMATEUR HOUR’ — As the world watches the fallout from Afghanistan, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her leadership team are busy planning for the House’s return next week. And it’s clear the gloves are starting to come off as leadership loses patience with a band of centrists threatening to derail Pelosi’s two-track plan to muscle through President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill and a massive social spending package this fall.
“This is no time for amateur hour,” Pelosi told her team on a private call Monday night, our Heather and Sarah scooped. “There is no way we can pass those bills unless we do so in the order that we originally planned.”
On the call, Pelosi reconfirmed plans to pass a rule next week that would cover the budget resolution, voting rights legislation and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. As Pelosi wrote over the weekend, while Democrats plan to bring the budget resolution and voting rights legislation up for a vote, they are only “advancing” the infrastructure bill through the rule, not voting onpassage.
Calling their bluff: As one Democrat put it simply to us, House leadership will put the budget resolution on the floor next week and dare moderates to vote no. “For the first time, America’s children have leverage. I will not surrender that leverage,” Pelosi told her leadership team Monday night.
It’s unclear how this forceful approach will sit with the centrist Democrats. Right now there are 11 Democrats — including the nine who publicly signed the letter led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) — who are signalling to leadership they will vote against the budget resolution unless the House is allowed an immediate, up or down vote on the Senate infrastructure bill.
Good — this is the all-to-rare case where the progressive wing of the party has the leverage, and they should use it. Especially since the arguments being made by the DSWC are extremely uncompelling even taken at face value. (And, no, in fact the SALT cap is perfectly fine policy, and eliminating it would certainly be a ludicrously trivial reason to blow up the president’s agenda.)