In 2019, the House passed the Raise the Wage Act. Only 6 Democrats voted with the Republicans to kill it-- 6 Blue Dog scumbags... worst of the worst. 5 were defeated for reelection 4 months later, many working class Democrats and independents souring on them and refusing to vote for them:
Anthony Brindisi (NY)-- immediately defeated for reelection
Joe Cunningham (SC)-- immediately defeated for reelection
Kendra Horn (OK)-- immediately defeated for reelection
Ben McAdams (UT)-- immediately defeated for reelection
Xochitl Torres Small (NM)-- immediately defeated for reelection
The 6th is a worse scumbag than all over them combined but he's a skilled liar and tricked Oregon voters into thinking he supports them. That's Kurt Schrader, who was reelected.
Now the same thing is happening with another issue crucial to working families: lower prescription drug prices. Schrader, an heir to the Pfizer fortune, voted against it in committee and is working furiously to prevent it from being included in Biden's Build Back Better Act. But you wouldn't know it from the ads running back in Oregon, claiming the opposite... that Schrader is fighting to keep drug prices down and is partnering-- instead of undermining-- Biden's Build Back Better proposals. It's going to be hard for progressive Milwaukie mayor Mark Gamba to get the truth of Schrader's record out to OR-05 voters. (That's why I included the 2022 Primary A Blue Dog thermometer above. Please click it and contribute what you can to Gamba's campaign.)
And Schrader is far from the only deceitful Blue Dog trying to mislead his voters this way. Last night, Patriotic Millionaires noted that "conservative Democrats attempted to sabotage the President’s agenda and they were solidly defeated. Their demand that the House vote on the bipartisan infrastructure package before details of reconciliation were finished, in direct opposition to a deal agreed upon by Democrats in the House, Senate, and White House, would have sabotaged any attempts to pass the desperately needed funding and tax hikes on the rich that the reconciliation package provides. Thankfully, progressives held strong to their word and killed the vote before it even happened. But in the wake of their defeat, the conservative Democrats who tried to kill the Build Back Better agenda and pass only an infrastructure bill are now trying to misdirect the blame for a chaotic week onto anyone but themselves."
They singled out two of the worst, most notorious liars in Congress: Josh Gottheimer and Kyrsten Sinema, who released ugly, deceitful statements, each claiming that "a small minority of their party is the reason the infrastructure bill and Biden’s Build Back Better plan is in jeopardy. They’re correct, just not in the way they mean. THEY are the roadblock to getting Americans the aid they need as they sell out to their wealthy donors."
Representative Josh Gottheimer
Rep. Gottheimer’s statement, released Friday, is about as bold-faced of an attempt to misrepresent the situation as possible.
Gottheimer is quoted in his statement as saying:
“[A] small far-left faction of the House of Representatives undermined that agreement and blocked a critical vote on the President’s historic bipartisan infrastructure bill.”
Gottheimer portrays himself as a representative of not just the broader Democratic caucus, but also a representative of the President and the people. This is a farce; he is a member of a tiny fraction of congressional Democrats that does not align with the desires of the people and is in direct opposition to the rest of his party and the President’s agenda.
“We cannot let this small faction on the far left... destroy the President’s agenda”
Passing the infrastructure bill with the budget reconciliation plan including all its provisions and tax reformations is quite literally the President’s agenda. Saying anything else is “putting the president’s agenda at risk” is deceitful, especially when it's his group that is refusing to vote for it.
“I will not stop fighting for the people I represent”
Then walk the walk, Gottheimer. This is what your people have said they want.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema
Senator Sinema’s statement on her position includes its own healthy dose of irony. She writes:
"The failure of the U.S. House to hold a vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is inexcusable, and deeply disappointing for communities across our country."
Sinema’s lamentation over a postponed vote on this infrastructure is exclusively performative-- it is her and her 13 colleagues who are holding up this vote. Democratic leadership, the President, and the people she has been elected to represent are all on board. It is HER defiance that is holding up this vote.
“Denying Americans millions of good-paying jobs, safer roads, cleaner water, more reliable electricity, and better broadband only hurts everyday families.
The current bill isn’t enough to create any substantive aid for families. Sinema and her corporate Democrat friends are not only stalling the passage of this package, they are pushing for it to be weakened if not outright killed, all at the expense of hard-working Americans.
"Arizonans, and all everyday Americans, expect their lawmakers to consider legislation on the merits - rather than obstruct new jobs and critical infrastructure investments for no substantive reason. What Americans have seen instead is an ineffective stunt to gain leverage over a separate proposal."
This is an especially ironic comment coming from Senator Sinema, considering to date she has yet to provide to her constituents or colleagues any concrete or substantive reason for her opposition to this package. Sinema is projecting her lack of tangible opinion on the topic onto her more convicted party members.
"Congress was designed as a place where representatives of Americans with valid and diverse views find compromise and common ground.”
Congress was designed as a place where members represent the people who voted them in, not a place where representatives should whittle away at legislation in an attempt to appear bipartisan in relation to some manufactured political “center.” The people want this, and Congress has an obligation to do their job- represent the people.
“Canceling the infrastructure vote further erodes that trust.”
Sinema, the reason for the postponement of this vote, acting as if it's anyone's fault but her own that negotiations over reconciliation have not moved faster is disingenuous. People can't trust her and politicians like her if they continue to mislead the public about not only their own intentions but the nature of the circumstances they themselves create.
If these members of Congress are going to stand in the way of progress, then they should at a bare minimum stop lying to the American People and accept the consequences of betraying the majority of Americans. Don't buy what they're selling.