Ocasio-Cortez breaks with Pelosi in key early vote for Democrats

Pearl Mccarthy
January 3, 2019

Alexandra Pelosi, a documentary filmmaker and the daughter of Democratic House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, painted a gory "Game Of Thrones"-esque scene to explain how her mother will approach meetings with President Donald Trump". Lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez are fighting for new legislations like Medicare for all-and Paygo rules would make it nigh impossible to pass such new and effective programs.

Democrats have criticized the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package the GOP passed in December 2017 for increasing federal deficits, though both parties also came together previous year to boost federal spending caps by about $300 billion in 2018 and 2019.

"PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) explains; it's also a dark political maneuver created to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg", Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

The US Congress starts its new two-year session on Thursday. Democrats believe under an obscure IRS rule, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal of MA, has the power to obtain the returns from the Treasury Department. "This will give everyday Americans a lot more confidence that all the other things we have on the agenda are going to be done in a way that really meets their expectations and responds to their priorities".

Other rule changes proposed by Pelosi and unveiled Sunday would eliminate the supermajority requirement to pass federal income tax changes, and make it easier to suspend the debt ceiling.

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What's more important is that Paygo has been shown to do real political damage.

Reps. Mark Pocanm D-Wis., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the co-chairpersons of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said they would support the overall rules package despite their opposition to PAYGO, citing a commitment from House leaders that the provision "will not be an impediment to advancing key progressive priorities" in the new Congress.

Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, defended the Democrats' paygo rule Wednesday as a way of heading off the across-the-board cuts.

Although Pelosi said in a statement afterward that "we welcome the presence of these activists", the episode highlighted a growing rift between establishment Democrats and up-and-coming politicians such as Ocasio-Cortez and Khanna, who each unseated longtime party incumbents.

House Democratic leaders agreed previous year to drop another rule proposal opposed by Pocan and Jayapal, one that would have made it more hard to pass legislation raising taxes.

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