Here are 10 facts you need to know about Rosa DeLauro (D-CT):
1- Part of Pelosi's inner circle
2- Chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee
3- 78 year old fashion icon
4- Married to Democratic Party insider/strategist Stan Greenberg
5- Used to let Rahm Emanuel live in her basement
6- Former chief of staff for Chris Dodd
7- Former executive director of EMILY's List
8- In her first election (1990), the head of the Connecticut Republican Party called her "Walter Mondale in drag"
9- "B" score from ProgressivePunch in an eastern Connecticut district with a D+8 PVI
10- Like Pelosi, was once a progressive (and co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus) but hasn't kept up with progressivism much and is now considered a garden variety liberal whose time has come and gone. Needs to retire, gracefully and with honor and dignity.
Yesterday, DeLauro, who would never say or do anything Pelosi didn't want her to, told a couple of Hill writers that she's concerned that the preferred way of cutting back the Build Back Less Better Act-- cutting the duration of the new programs-- creates "policy cliffs." Of course; that's the damn point. "Policy cliffs" will make it extremely hard for conservatives to discard the crucial programs. I'll get back to that in a moment. First, what DeLauro told The Hill:
"I'm of the school of thought that we should focus in on several of the areas that will have the biggest impact on people. And then look to see how we can phase in the other pieces. Fewer programs, longer duration."
No, no, no. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. If you create a 5 year program for, say, lower drug prices, what do the Republicans and their allies from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party do in 2026-- announce that everyone's prescriptions are going back up to 10 times the price? And... no more child care, but plenty more air pollution. Can you imagine 4 years of Medicare covering dental work and then 5 years in the conservatives want to take that away? That's not how the real world works.
Putting these policies in place is far more important than the careerists who want to hold onto their jobs no matter what is accomplished or not accomplished. The Hill writers are correct when they explain that "The debate over the length of programs has emerged as a crucial and divisive one as Democratic leaders race to limit the cost of the package. El Paso progressive Veronica Escobar: "Many of us believe that once families have access to child care, once employees have access to paid family leave, once we begin certain programs, that it will be very challenging for Republicans to cut them off-- just as it was challenging for them to end the ACA... I don't think we unilaterally should say let's just do these three or four or five things and abandon everything else."
Something like 25 Congressional Progressive Caucus members signed a letter to Pelosi last week urging her to keep the broad contours of the reconciliation package, even if it means squeezing the benefit timelines. "If given a choice between legislating narrowly or broadly, we strongly encourage you to choose the latter, and make robust investments over a shorter window."