Baron Hill, the former Indiana representative, and politician faced a very difficult vote in 2009, which explains why moderate House members are leery of supporting contentious legislation facing an uncertain future in the Senate.
At the time, Hill supported energy legislation, which aimed to limit greenhouse gas emissions under a market-based policy called “cap and trade.” However, the vote turned out to be ineffective, because the Senate never voted on the bill.
After going through that bad experience, Hill was reluctant to support the Affordable Care Act a few months later, because he was skeptical of the Senate again. He then voted for her because in this way the benefits in the health area would be expanded.
Hill told USA TODAY in 2010: “I’m still a bit upset that our leadership assured us that they would get the job done in the Senate. That was a difficult vote.”
Through his experience, people were able to see how House leaders from both parties sometimes ask grassroots members to cast difficult votes that could cost them their seats. Those kinds of petitions are harder to accept, especially when the Senate can vote against an entire bill.
This year this dynamic is happening again, most notably President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion program of domestic priorities. Republicans have vowed to oppose it. On the other hand, moderate House Democrats are wary of supporting such a massive tax and spending package unless there is some guarantee that the Senate will pass it.
John Pitney Jr., professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College, said: “Voting for a tax increase that does not become law is the worst of all political worlds. A complete book could be written on this situation and entitled Profiles inutililes. “
This swing related to the bill takes place before the gubernatorial elections, which will take place in mid-2022, and in which Republicans hope to regain a majority in the House and Senate.
Cornell University professor of government Richard Bensel said: “Progressives are eager for their moment in the sun before potentially losing control of Congress next year.” However, he spoke of the lawmakers most at risk of losing their jobs are the same moderates who are being asked to vote for controversial legislation that could be cut or not passed at all.
Additionally, Bensel said: “I think their fear is quite legitimate. What they are doing is really a pretty brutal kind of calculation. How can you encourage people to walk on the board if you assume they are going to drown anyway? “
Nancy Pelosy (Speaker of the House of Representatives and Democrat of California), Chuck Schumer (Senate Majority Leader and DN.Y), and President Joe Biden have insisted that some version of the agenda be passed. Pelosi promised her colleagues Monday that House and Senate leaders are coordinating the legislation to produce something that both houses can send to Biden.