Bipartisan agreements in Congress have become a thing of the past, but a rare occurence of it pops up here and there. With Democrats set to take over the House, agendas are being set and proposals put forward for 2019.
Tomorrow, I will put my voting card where my mouth is. https://t.co/GUSXBWOYcR
— Tom Reed (@RepTomReed) January 2, 2019
One such proposal is a spending rules package proposed by Nancy Pelosi. Although at least one Democrat has already spoken out against it, surprisingly, Tom Reed (R-NY), who co-chairs the House Problem-Solvers Caucus, said he would stand with Pelosi and vote in the package.
‘Reed decided to vote “yes” after Democratic leaders agreed to several of the group’s long-sought changes to the House’s notoriously top-down legislative structure, his spokesman Will Reinert said Wednesday.
‘“[The caucus] felt that real reforms were necessary that could actually bring legislation to the floor,” Reinert said. “He didn’t get all the reforms he asked for, but he felt this was a show of good faith.”’
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) January 2, 2019
The package has been noted as having its own issues, but attempts were made to create a deal that would have bipartisan support. So far, only Reed has stood up to bridge the divide. With a base of supporters who see reaching across the aisle as surrender, it’s likely he will face consequences if he runs again.
‘Other Republican members of the moderate group are also expected to support the package on Thursday, though none have yet come forward publicly.
‘Since July, Reed and other Problem-Solvers Caucus members have sought a procedural overhaul to lessen the sharp partisan divide in the House, in part by making it easier for rank-and-file members to bring their own bills onto the floor for a vote.’
Message to House Dems: Do NOT vote for “PayGo” in the rules package. It’s a brainless Republican idea that tax cuts or mandatory spending increases must be offset by tax increases or mandatory spending cuts. Totally disables fiscal policy. https://t.co/t9PXK0c9wm
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) January 2, 2019
The rest of the Republican party will likely speak out against anything Pelosi puts forward, and GOP leadership has reportedly informed Reed that he’ll face consequences with them, as well, if he votes for the bill. Despite this, Reed has decided to move forward and told his Twitter followers that he feels enough compromise was made in order to support it.
‘Reed’s support for the package — which will be the first vote of the 116th Congress — is an unusual blessing for Pelosi on the eve of divided government.
‘Reed told the Washington Post, which first reported his support for the package, that he had been threatened with “consequences” from his own leadership because of his support. A spokesman declined to elaborate on Thursday.’
NEW statement from CPC co-chairs @repmarkpocan and @RepJayapal should temper the PAYGO dustup: 'With the assurances that PAYGO can be waived, we do plan to vote for the House rules package…' pic.twitter.com/Hj8Cv6dn7Z
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 2, 2019
The bill still needs some changes, which both Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) as well as the former economic advisor to three presidents (including a Republican) and labor secretary to President Clinton, Robert Reich, have pointed out. Bipartisanship, however, is a rereshing change for Congress.