Ocasio-Cortez breaks with Pelosi in key early vote for Democrats

Ocasio-Cortez breaks with Pelosi in key early vote for Democrats

Ocasio-Cortez breaks with Pelosi in key early vote for Democrats

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.

The rules measure, set for a vote on Thursday when the new Congress convenes, will reimpose a "pay as you go" requirement that would allow challenges to legislation that adds to the deficit.

Democrats plan to tweak the rules so that a motion to vacate can only be offered on the House floor if a majority of either the House Republican Conference or the House Democratic Caucus agrees to do so. "PAYGO isn't only bad economics, as @RoKhanna explains; it's also a dark political maneuver created to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg", Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

"We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start", Ocasio-Cortez concluded.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D., Ohio), a former Pelosi foe, also came out against the pay-go rule but didn't say he would vote against the rules package entirely.

"I will be voting NO on the Rules package with #PayGo".

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So far, Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez are the only Democrats to announce opposition to the package.

In short, despite it being a rule embraced by many in the center-and championed by Democrats like Pelosi-Paygo is seen by progressives as a way to gesture bipartisanship while both pandering to conservatives and likely hindering the country's economy.

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Pelosi deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill fired back shortly afterward, tweeting: "A vote AGAINST the Democratic Rules package is a vote to let [Director of the Office of Management and Budget] Mick Mulvaney make across the board cuts, unilaterally reversing Democratic initiatives and funding increases".

House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern of MA said there had been "a lot of misunderstanding" over the proposed rules.

Pay-go, which was last in effect in 2010, would replace the current so-called "cut-go" provisions that require only that spending increases be matched with other cuts.

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.

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.

Democrats are making presidential tax returns a focal point in one of their first pieces of legislation, an effort to build the case to the American people that time is up on President Donald Trump keeping his own tax returns from the public, shutting what could be a window into his personal wealth.

Ocasio-Cortez's dissent follows her criticism of House leaders over a new select committee on climate change, which she said was too weak in part because the House rules measure didn't grant it power to draft legislation and issue subpoenas.

The dispute reflects early tension between the party's ascendant progressive wing and more conservative members who view deficit reduction as a priority.

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