Pelosi vs Schumer? Bitter Dem Divide Could Spell Trouble Ahead

Pelosi vs Schumer? Bitter Dem Divide Could Spell Trouble Ahead

The $4.6 billion border bill passed by Congress last week exposed tensions between liberal and centrist factions within the Democratic Party and reportedly created a “bitter rift” between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Before leaving for their July 4 recess, the House approved the bipartisan Senate version of legislation to provide funds for the care of migrants arriving at the southern border. While 129 House Democrats voted for the bill, 95 voted against it. And passage of the bill — without the stronger restrictions on the Trump administration and protections for migrant children that House liberals had sought — came only after some heated intraparty clashes.

Progressives in the House accused their Senate counterparts of destroying any leverage they had by supporting the Senate legislation. House moderates, meanwhile, “reveled in the clout they’d wielded over the more highly publicized progressive wing of the party and said the day had delivered a message to leaders about issues lying ahead,” according to the Associated Press. And officials on both sides of the Capitol “privately acknowledged that if the House had acted more swiftly in passing its own legislation — and resisted some of the liberal demands in drafting the measure — moving in tandem would have been easier,” The New York Times reported.

The outcome, seen as a defeat for Pelosi, left lingering resentments, as both the AP and The Washington Post detailed.

Why it matters: “The breakdown between Pelosi and Schumer revealed the extent of the raw divisions among congressional Democrats and raises the possibility of more skirmishes to come as Congress barrels toward funding and debt ceiling deadlines this fall,” the Post’s Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade reported.

And The New York Times’ Emily Cochrane said that “the bitter divide over this vote is likely to carry over to a fight to fund the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services for the next fiscal year. That may be particularly true of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which denounced the vote on Thursday as ‘a betrayal of our American values.’”