House Democrats split on the Republicans' use of the "Motion to Recommit".


Republicans have managed this week to amend a bill led by the Democrats a few moments before its adoption. They did it using a "re-engagement motion" – known as "MTR" at Capitol Hill – which is one of the few tools available to the minority party to try to change the plans for law to which he opposes.

Mid-term exams rarely work for the minority because they have to convince enough members of the majority party to tip the scales and win.

While tensions were even stronger among Democrats after the vote on the mid-term vote, Republicans celebrated the victory – even though almost all Republicans eventually voted against the more general bill on background checks – and have presented it as evidence of a fractured democratic caucus.

House Democrat Whip, James Clyburn, rebuffed the argument of disunity.

"The cultural differences that exist in our caucus are a little different from those on the other side," said Clyburn, a Southern Carolinian who is the third Democrat in the House.

It's the second time in this Congress that Republicans are winning an MTR vote – something the Democrats have never managed to accomplish in the last eight years, while they were in the minority.

Democrats debate at Thursday's meeting

This sparked an emotional debate within the party among the Democrats at a meeting on Thursday as they discussed how to deal with the issue under their new majority power. Among the proposals presented, the idea is to completely remove the MTR so that Republicans do not have the opportunity to add words at the last minute.

But some Democrats, many of them moderate, are in favor of the Democrats voting on the MTR to best represent their constituencies, even if it means voting with the Republicans. Although the mid-term exams are procedural votes, they are still difficult for eligible district democrats and could be used against them politically by Republicans if moderate Democrats kept their own party. Of the 26 Democrats who voted Wednesday with Republicans in favor of the MTR, 22 come from districts won by President Donald Trump in 2016.

At the same time, representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most progressive members of the caucus, expressed frustration at Thursday's meeting with the destruction of the mid-term review, saying the wording added it forced him to vote against the bill. . According to a source close to the room, Ocasio-Cortez asserted that she had to choose between immigrants and gun violence, two major issues for progressive militants.

Spokesman Corbin Trent confirmed that Ocasio-Cortez, who is lined up with a group willing to challenge the Democrats that they deem not progressive enough, warned during the meeting that its Liberal activists and she – even watch the moderates who side with the Republicans on key issues progressive. "They make the list themselves," said Trent of the moderates.

Others mention the idea of ​​changing the rules so that Republicans table their MTR language with more advanced notice rather than a few minutes before the vote because the process is currently working. This would give Democrats more time to flog their members and stay in line enough to avoid losing the MTR.

Institutionalist party fear, however, that the reform or elimination of the PMR creates a dangerous precedent that would harm the democrats in the future, once returned to the minority.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi urged her caucus at Thursday's meeting to remain simply united and to consider the mid-term reviews as such – procedural votes to go to the final vote on the draft. law, not amendments requiring further examination. If Democrats worry too much about the political implications for MTR votes, they risk fueling the Republicans' tougher crackdowns, she said.

"There may be a moment when there is something so religious in your district that there is a case, but the minute you decided it was not a parish vote , that it was not a procedural vote, (the Republicans) smell blood, "she said. meeting. "They are on your case for all the other MTRs, and the case of our other colleagues, especially our freshmen."

Later, at a press conference, she gave no indication that she was considering changing or deleting the stage report. On the contrary, his message was clear to the swing district democrats.

Vote no Vote no Vote no, because the fact is that a vote yes, it is to give leverage to the other party – the abandonment of the vote. leverage in the House, "she said.

According to the GOP, Democrats are trying to "fudge the rules"

Republicans say the Democrats are trying to stifle the limited power the GOP has as a minority party.

"Rather than reconcile the differences within their own party about the fact that they lead the division, the Democrats want to falsify the rules and suppress the minority party's speech in the House," the chief of the party told reporters. the House, Kevin McCarthy.

Republicans say that MTRs are their last chance to improve bills. And Lauren Fine, a spokeswoman for Republican Whip Steve Scalise, said that Democrats' arguments against the MTR are "totally contrary to the promise they made to voters to follow an open and inclusive process" .

Michigan Democrat Dan Kildee said the Democrats were simply doing what voters wanted. "You know who took power from the Republicans, voters in 2018," he said. "We are in the majority, we should act like that."

He said the Republicans, emboldened by their victories in the MTR, would only be more creative in trying to present a language that would make it difficult for some Democrats.

"Republicans will be getting harder and harder to try adding antipersonnel mines into these candy-like bills," Kildee said.

Republicans have remained united when they were in the majority in the last eight years and have lost no MTR, but it is not uncommon for Democrats to lose MTRs every time they are in the majority. From 2007 to 2011, the last time the Democrats controlled the House, Democrats lost about 23% of the votes cast in the MTR.

"But the fact is that it did not affect our ability to enact substantive legislation," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who was in the same position as the Prime Minister. 39; era.

The House had another vote MTR Thursday before another bill related to background checks. This time, the Democrats were more united and had only two defections in their ranks, both moderate, who were on the side of the Republicans in the MTR.

Nevertheless, the issue is likely to be the subject of ongoing debate. As the source said in the lively Democratic meeting, "We are not yet close to solving the problem, but it was a good breakout session."

CNN's Sunlen Serfaty, Kristin Wilson, Liz Landers, David Siegel and Casey Riddle contributed to this report.

Source link