House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t released any transcripts of her conversations with wavering Democratic lawmakers, however it’s clear to everybody involved that she desires a successful impeachment vote on the House floor next week. One may even consider it a “personal political benefit.”
For those Democrats in swing districts willing to swallow their concerns and vote against the Speaker’s principal political rival, there appear to be rewards available. Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis report in the Washington Post, “House Democratic leaders are bracing for some defections amongst a group of moderate Democrats in swing districts who’re concerned a vote to impeach President Trump might cost them their seats in November.”
Is the Speaker doing anything to alleviate such concerns? The Posties report:
Pelosi has… tried to give moderates political cover with a series of legislative victories they can tout back home. Among them are a major trade deal and passage of a sweeping defense bill with paid leave for federal workers, as well as votes on key campaign promises to lower the price of prescription drugs and bolster voting rights.
Some moderates are getting much more. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, a Democratic centrist who’s agonizing about the way to vote, secured a major win in the defense bill that the House passed Wednesday — a provision designed to spice up a local manufacturing plant in his district that Trump carried by more than 15 points.
Brindisi’s ousted predecessor, Claudia Tenney, had implored GOP leadership to adopt the provision, which requires the military to purchase American-made eating utensils. The only U.S. manufacturer that produces those utensils, Sherrill Manufacturing, is headquartered in the Upstate New York district.
GOP leaders ignored Tenney but Pelosi didn’t.
“STICK A FORK IN IT!” Brindisi tweeted, touting the win.
Seems like Mr. Brindisi may have gotten a quid. Next week will he deliver a quo? Ukraine never did commence a Biden investigation for President Trump, yet the country still received U.S. assistance on time. Perhaps Mr. Brindisi will feel free to go his own method.
Ukraine’s president says he never felt pressured and didn’t even realize assistance could be withheld if he didn’t examine the deal that Hunter and Joe Biden can not defend and have promised never to repeat.
But Rep. Brindisi can hardly be in the dark about what is expected of him now.
By the standards Democrats apply to Mr. Trump, disclosure would seem to be required from Democrats of the contents of all recent conversations between Mrs. Pelosi and members who’re undecided on impeachment.
Sarah Ferris and John Bresnahan report in Politico:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has informed members there will be no attempt by the whip team to sway them ahead of the vote, saying at a Wall Street Journal event on Monday, “I haven’t counted votes, nor will I.”
For anyone tempted to believe that Nancy Pelosi is headed to the House floor on the most consequential issue of her Speakership without any idea of the likely outcome, Ms. Ferris and Mr. Bresnahan are amongst those chronicling Democratic leadership efforts prior to next week’s vote. Was the Speaker’s Monday comment on the Journal event a part of an effort to obstruct inquiries into her political methods? The Politico reporters write:
In the Capitol, some vulnerable Democrats have struggled with how to navigate the national impeachment furor, at times flatly ignoring reporters’ questions on the subject or blatantly trying to change the subject…
A small group of vulnerable Democrats even met this week to quietly discuss a potential censure resolution instead of impeachment as an try to draw bipartisan support. However the idea was shortly swatted down by leadership and other members of the caucus.
“It’s not being seriously discussed in the Democratic Caucus in the House,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, a freshman frontliner who sits on one of the panels investigating Trump.
Pelosi and her leadership team have worked hard to stamp out a lot of those worries, announcing this week that Democrats would draft two narrowly focused impeachment articles related to the president’s pressure campaign to solicit help from Ukraine.
There’s a reason Mrs. Pelosi and her leadership team have to work so hard to keep nervous Democrats on board. They have no case and they don’t believe they can sell impeachment to people who aren’t already opposed to the President.
It appears that support for impeachment among Democratic House members has declined since the inquiry started, and the question is by how a lot. Ms. Bade and Mr. DeBonis write in the Post:
Lawmakers and senior aides are privately predicting they’ll lose more than the 2 Democrats who opposed the impeachment inquiry rules package in late September, based on multiple officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk frankly. Two senior Democratic aides mentioned the total could be as many as a half-dozen, while a third stated the number might be larger.
Predictions about some defections come as a core group of centrists from districts Trump won in 2016 are having second thoughts. While many knew impeachment would never be popular in their GOP-leaning districts, some have been stunned that support hasn’t increased despite negative testimony about Trump from a series of blockbuster hearings last month.
Maybe they’re surprised because they believed assertions from media outlets like the Washington Post that obscure complaints from unelected bureaucrats amounted to blockbuster testimony.