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The Democrats are no longer playing by the GOP's rules

March 4, 2021 in Blogs

By John Stoehr

On Wednesday, I said US Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, perhaps the most conservative Democrats in the United States Congress, didn’t have much incentive to support raising the minimum hourly wage from $7.50 to $15. Their states already have minimum rates higher than the federal rate. Whatever incentive they did have pretty much vanished after the Senate parliamentarian ruled the provision for raising the minimum did not meet its requirement for passing legislation by way of “budget reconciliation”—a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

This we understand. We also understand that once the parliamentarian announced her ruling, none of the Democrats made a stink or cried out for Kamala Harris to overrule the adjudicator or called on Manchin and others to get the hell out of the way so Joe Biden could live up to his promise or this is me totally lying all of this happened. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the loudest but not the only voice of dissent: “As a representative of a community that is very deeply impacted by this issue, I know that going back to my family’s community in the Bronx and in Queens, we can’t tell them that this didn’t get done because of an unelected parliamentarian,” she said.

You often hear it said by pundits who are impatient with Democratic dithering that they are sick and tired of the Democrats playing by the Republicans’ rules. You can count me among that number. I think it’s important, however, to pay attention to the results of our incessant complaining. That Ocasio-Cortez and a goodly number of Senate Democrats are making noise about an “unelected parliamentarian”; that they are demanding a change to the “Byrd rule,” which is so far preventing a minimum wage provision from being included in the larger $1.9 trillion covid relief package; that they are invoking the vice president’s power as the president of the Senate to overrule the adjudicator; that they are calling for zapping the filibuster, which requires a 60-vote supermajority; that all of this is happening suggests the Democrats are no longer playing by the GOP’s rules. They are in the process of creating their own rules now that they have the power. Indeed, they seem to have given their last full and final fuck.

I don’t typically use salty language in the pages of the Editorial Board. I’m dropping an f-bomb for …read more


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