House Democrats Block Republican Measure

( House Democrats were able to block a Republican effort that would curb unending spending on socialist programs such as the Green New Deal.

On Monday, Republicans attempted to remove a provision from the Rules package that exempts favored legislation from PAYGO requirements. Democrats were able to block Republicans from doing so, though.

According to PAYGO requirements, any legislation that allocates and spends money has to include a “payfor” component. This could be, for example, more legislation that the Congressional Budget Office analyzes and then offers insight into the true cost of the proposed spending.

The Democrats’ rules proposal, though, made certain legislative packages, such as the Green New Deal, exempt from that stipulation. This would protect supporters of the bill, and others like it, from having to explain how they plan to pay for the price tag of the legislation, which could total $93 trillion.

Representative Jason Smith from Missouri, who is the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, criticized Democrats for the effort. He said:

“On only day two of the 117th Congress, House Democrats are already attempting to strip Americans of the transparency they deserve in order to push through an expensive progressive wish list. This exemption is irresponsible since arguably it could apply to any radical, progressive, out-of-touch legislation dreamed up next by House Democrats.”

Democrats carried the vote, 217-203, to strike down the Motion to Commit put forth by Republican members of the House. Democrats were able to narrowly hang onto their advantage in the House in the November elections, with 222 members compared to the Republicans’ total of 211.

While the slight majority is still an advantage, it does present House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership extra challenges. They must pander more to some voices who want a different direction of their party. Particularly, Pelosi must garner the support of the progressive “Squad,” which grew from four members to six in this new Congress.

The Squad, led by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has demanded a new approach to party politics. They have voted against some Democratic measures in the past, and are likely to continue to do so unless their progressive agenda is pushed.

Pelosi, then, must ensure that she garners their support with a lot of bills before pushing forward with them. One of the biggest legislative packages the Squad supports is the Green New Deal.

The legislative package is a monumental plan to attack climate change. AOC first introduced the package, along with Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey. Part of the package would force the U.S. to wean off fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions in many industries.

The package would also seek to create high-paying jobs in industries that deal with clean energy.

As of now, the Green New Deal is just a congressional resolution. In other words, it isn’t a binding law that will force the country, or any companies, to take any action. However, it does set the groundwork for future legislation that could set mandates and spending toward it.