Smaller Democratic majority coming…
More power centers….
Democratic House Speaker Pelosi’s finishing act?
Nothing IS Easy…..
Republican’s have their own issue’s….
SLIMMING DOWN: House Democrats have a margin of error of about five votes on bills brought to the floor, which has led to a lot of wrangling by Dem leaders ahead of the Covid relief bill. But that flimsy margin looks like it will soon be slimmer.
The Senate is poised Wednesday to confirm Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer prepared procedural cloture motion votes on Tuesday evening for her nomination.
Another House Dem, Rep. Deb Haaland (N.M.), who President Joe Biden has nominated to lead the Department of Interior, is also inching closer to a confirmation vote by the full Senate after the Senate Energy Committee advanced her nomination last Thursday.
With the two looking like they will soon fly the coop, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing a tighter margin as Democrats look to tackle a list of ambitious legislative priorities now that Biden’s Covid relief bill is almost out of the way. Think: Infrastructure, immigration, etc.
Your Huddle host tried to ask Pelosi if she was concerned by this at all. Unfortunately, the mask killed my question delivery, so the Speaker answered in kind: “I’m not worried about anything. I don’t know what your question was, but I’m not.”
Take Two: Luckily, your Huddle host had better luck enunciating with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who cited their recent success as an indicator that they will be able to get additional legislation passed.
“You’ve seen us voting a number of times now. And we’re pretty unified, even with a small number. So, no, I’m not concerned about that but it makes it tighter,” Hoyer told me. “And it takes time to — as you know, you can’t be appointed to the House — so we have to elect members so for a time we will be short.”
He did note it makes “a lot of things more difficult.” As we’ve gamed out before, both moderates and progressives have more power with narrow majorities in the House and Senate and could torpedo an amendment or a bill should they feel their policy pushes or views aren’t getting a fair shake.
During the House vote on the Covid relief bill, House Democrats lost the support of two of their own. But then again, they only need that one extra vote to get their legislation passed….
Sources tell Mel that Republicans are fed up with a host of things: the lack of amendment debate and opportunities, Democratic threats to black ball Republicans who challenged the election results, proxy voting, Dems weakening a procedural tool for the minority, and even the razor-wire fencing around the Capitol and magnetometers outside the chamber.
Put more broadly: “This place is completely dysfunctional,” Roy said.
So what now? Republicans are still mulling whether to make this an ongoing thing. Roy said that is “to be determined” and he wants to continue conversations with his colleagues about how to make Congress “work better.” Meanwhile, Hoyer said he’s trying to figure out a path forward with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), per Sarah.
Roy also said he talked to one “unnamed Democrat” who argued that suspenders are “the last thing we’ve got that has some sort of bipartisan agreement on how to move things through [the House] easily.” Stay tuned on whether this becomes the latest casualty of the rapidly deteriorating relations in Congress.
ALL EARS: House Republicans held a nearly two-hour listening session last night to discuss a very pressing and important issue facing the conference: whether to take advantage of earmarks when Democrats bring them back, which is expected to happen relatively soon.
The GOP conference is pretty split on the issue. Sources in the room tell Mel and yours truly that members on both sides of the debate took turns arguing their viewpoints, with Texas Rep. Kay Granger — the top GOP appropriator in the House — leading the charge in favor of earmarks.