Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez challenges Nancy Pelosi by opposing her 'dark political maneuver'

Some progressive Democrats announce opposition to new House rules What is Paygo? Why progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez oppose Pelosi's rule
Celia Hoffman | 03 January, 2019, 07:20

The three Democrats banded together to express their frustrations Wednesday, with two of them publicly saying they planned to break from Democratic ranks and vote against Pelosi's rules change replacing a Republican budget rule called Cut-as-You-Go (CUTGO) with Pay-as-You-Go (PAYGO). If the rules package is adopted, the cost of any new entitlement spending or tax cuts must be paid for in order to come to the House floor for a vote.

That provision is meant to defuse the perennial standoffs over voting to increase the federal debt ceiling - though any move to increase or suspend the debt limit would also require approval from the GOP-controlled Senate. "PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as @RoKhanna explains", she tweeted, "it's also a dark political maneuver created to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg". "I don't think we need to handcuff ourselves in ways that Republicans never have".

When a new Congress convenes every two years, the majority party must approve a resolution outlining House rules - the intricate parliamentary procedures that govern the chamber.

Some progressive Democrats have announced that they will vote against House Democrats' rules package, which was rolled out Tuesday evening.

The rules package also contains a provision that makes it more hard to pass legislation that increases the deficit, with some exceptions for emergencies.

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"The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression", he added.

Rep. Ro Khanna of California and Rep. -elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY said they would vote against the rules changes - in the second vote Democrats will take in the majority after ostensibly electing Pelosi as the new speaker - because of the inclusion of a fiscal measure known as "pay as you go", or PAYGO. "At some point, politicians need to learn from mistakes and read economic history", Khanna tweeted, referring to austerity measures, which are focused on reducing a deficit due to risks of budget default. In a statement, Ryan classified it as a "no-go for me".

Ocasio-Cortez plans to vote against the Democrats' rules package because it includes a "pay-go" provision that she says will hinder getting progressive legislation passed. The threat to derail Pelosi's bid to retake the speaker's gavel forced her to strike a deal with rebel Democrats in December to limit her speakership to three terms, pledging to bow out in 2022.

Additional elements to the rules package include ethics reforms that preclude congressional members and their staff from serving on corporate boards, as well as the revival of a rule that all legislation must be made available at least 72 hours before a vote is held.

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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