Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has plans to defy Pelosi

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez already has plans to defy Pelosi

Since Republicans had the majority in 2011, they established a rule that any bill allowing increases in federal income taxes must have the support of three-fifths of the lower chamber to pass. Assuming none of the 197 Republicans vote to approve the rules package, the 234-member Democratic conference can not afford to lose more than 16 votes in order for it to pass.

The bill, H.R. 1, includes a number of measures regarding voting regulations and ethics, according to the network.

After the new House is seated, one of the first orders of business will be approving the new rules package governing the House for this term.

In a nod to a bipartisan group of centrists, legislation or amendments with broad support would get special privileges in committees and on the House floor - that provision brought a public endorsement from a Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., a rare move on what is nearly always a party-line vote. First, John Boehner, R-Ohio, then Paul Ryan, R-Wis., faced steady threats from conservatives about forcing them out of office through these means.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won't be sworn into office until Thursday.

Defeat of the rules legislation would be an embarrassing setback for Pelosi that could herald future division in the Democratic caucus. More importantly, for the short term, the House can not proceed with legislative business at the start of each new Congress until the rules are settled. Though many believe it to be a logical way to rein in spending, some argue that Paygo is a way to handicap progressive programs. The deficit jumped by 17 percent in 2018, after the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul passed in 2017.

"The austerians were wrong about the Great Recession and Great Depression", he added. "We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start".

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

So far, Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez are the only Democrats to announce opposition to the package. Several high-profile freshmen Democrats - Reps. -elect Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachussets - have not taken a public position. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the bonuses and salary hikes companies gave to their workers as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act "crumbs" previous year and said the legislation would lead to "Armageddon".

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. "That is why we will be introducing legislation in the 116th Congress to end PAYGO". But the rules fell by the wayside amid the budget surpluses of the 1990s.

Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, responded to criticism of the pay-go rule by noting how a federal law signed under President Barack Obama mandates across-the-board cuts to other programs if new deficit-increasing legislation is enacted.

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).

This article was written by Jeff Stein and Mike DeBonis, reporters for The Washington Post.

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