For Schumer and Pelosi, the challenge of a career without margin for error


Ms. Pelosi has been in difficult situations before. She had to coax enough anti-abortion Democrats to back the House’s version of the Affordable Care Act without losing the Liberals, who already feared the Senate’s exclusion of a new government-run plan, or ” public option ”, which would have competed with private insurance in the bill insurance market.

Then the Senate Democratic leaders abruptly lost their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, after a Republican, Scott Brown, shocked Washington by winning the special election in Massachusetts to fill the seat of the United States. Senate vacated by the death of Edward M. Kennedy. Ms Pelosi had to persuade House Democrats to swallow their pride, forget months of laborious negotiations, and simply pass the Senate version of the Affordable Care Act because a House-Senate compromise would be blocked by Republicans.

“The Affordable Care Act was a pretty big challenge,” said Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who headed the team at the time. “I mean, embrace radical health care reform and completely transform the health care delivery system in this country?” Yes, that’s what I would say comparable “to the current effort.

The Social Policy and Climate Change Bill does not create a whole new government function like the Health Act did, but within the scope of its ambitions it might be even more difficult to achieve. It would expand revolutionary income support programs like the child tax credit passed this year, make universal preschool and community college nearly universal, create a federally paid family and medical leave allowance, and attempt to do so. so that the country steadfastly moves away from oil, gas and coal. renewable fuels and electric vehicles, to name a few of its programs. And it would pay for all of this by taxing the rich and the corporations, perhaps in a way never tried before.

This created a number of bottlenecks that could sink the bill, given the narrow Democratic majorities. Oregon Representative Kurt Schrader said he wanted a bill that spends less than $ 1,000 billion over 10 years. Several members of the House say they cannot accept the bill’s strict approach to prescription drug prices.

Ms. Sinema of Arizona has privately told her colleagues that she will not agree to any increase in the corporate or income tax rate. But recent discussions by Senate Democrats over adding a carbon tax to the bill to both tackle climate change and help replace that revenue have come up against concerns raised by three House Democrats. from Texas. In a letter to Ms Sinema and Ms Manchin, they expressed their opposition to several provisions of the bill aimed at tackling climate change, and also spoke out against increasing a minimum income tax to the foreign US companies above that set in 2017..


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