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Sun Jan 3, 2021, 04:59 AM

House Dems Signal Bolder Action by Weakening Self-Imposed Austerity Rules

From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on FB:

One of the first votes I ever cast broke with my party. I voted against a package of House rules that strangled transformative legislation for working people and climate.

Now, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has pushed these critical rule changes in House negotiations.

One of the first deep lessons I learned in the House is that process IS policy. If we passed Medicare for All, Green New Deal, and other big policy under these old rules, then it could be weaponized into austerity legislation - required to include insane tax hikes or service cuts.

So these rule changes are a big deal and not only on healthcare.
They are structural changes in the House that level the playing field for a full SUITE of flagship legislation, locks in that field for the next two years, and establishes precedents for after.

This was not easy. And to be 💯% honest, it was hard while we were fighting for this to be targeted and marred as some sellout-enemy of the people over a late tactical disagreement over one floor vote. Also a bummer to see figures excuse comments like “f- her and f- anyone who protects her.” That’s not tone, that’s violence.

On one hand, I am no stranger to abusive rhetoric and know that taking knocks comes with being an elected official. But as someone who prioritizes movement-building and winning, creating something joyful that people actually want to be a part of is an important organizing principle.
BUT, let us celebrate this achievement! We need the energy of celebration to keep pushing!

These rule changes are a BFD. Breaking austerity mindset and rules, especially on climate, is a major tenet of the Green New Deal.

We will learn, build, uplift and advance together.

💜 Happy new year

From the article:

The text of the resolution, which House leaders expect to take up Monday, would provide House Budget Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., broad authority to “adjust” cost estimates for certain bills so that their budgetary impacts don’t count as increasing deficits under House rules.

In practice, the new section means legislation that fits within the two broad new categories doesn’t need to comply with appropriations limits affecting discretionary programs, or pay-as-you-go rules for measures affecting tax revenues and “direct spending,” otherwise known as mandatory programs.

There is no reason, frankly, for any of the PAYGO rules to still exist. Any voter who is both obsessed with deficits and still believes against all evidence that Democrats are chiefly responsible for them is lost to the party to begin with. And in any case Democrats cannot properly address the country’s challenges while meeting PAYGO rules, given that Republicans are intransigent on tax increases for the wealthy. It’s far easier to get Republicans to trade spending priorities than to get them on the bad side of their donors and supply-side ideology...

the good part is that not only are COVID relief and climate change two of the most crucial policy needs in the coming year (alongside healthcare), a wide variety of spending programs can fit under that rubric:

But the new exemptions are so broad that it’s possible wide swaths of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package similar to one that passed the House over the summer could be spared, for instance. That measure contained new spending and tax incentives for clean energy programs and financing, water and wastewater infrastructure and more.

The new language stipulates that “measures to prevent, prepare for, or respond to economic, environmental, or public health consequences resulting from climate change” wouldn’t be considered deficit-spending that requires offsets.

Unity -- progressives, moderates and establishment Democrats -- gets America moving.


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Reply House Dems Signal Bolder Action by Weakening Self-Imposed Austerity Rules (Original post)
ancianita Jan 3 OP
Hugin Jan 3 #1
ancianita Jan 3 #2

Response to ancianita (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2021, 09:20 AM

1. "... creating something joyful that people actually want to be a part of..."

Kicking solely for this line.

Republican ideologues from their source as fundamentalist religious figures and authoritarians have successfully soured any initiatives to the point anything positive is seen as a negative experience. To be avoided or shouted through and over. Where's the joy in that? People should enjoy they are contributing to something good for others and themselves.

It's the whole Trolls Rule thing and I'm quite frankly sick of it.

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Response to Hugin (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 3, 2021, 09:26 AM

2. Indeed. Troll politics is a clever-by-half win-lose zero sum cynicism toward fellow Americans.

We're all sick of it because it is an infectious mental sickness that can't deal with national problems like covid or climate crises to the betterment of even their own American group.

People should see that the evidence of their elected leaders' covid and climate denials should disqualify them from elected office. Make room for the joy of "we're all in this together" empowerment. Throw out their sick power.

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