Democratic leader Pelosi faces new division in US Congress

Democratic leader Pelosi faces new division in US Congress

Long the most powerful politician in the United States and Donald Trump’s first rival, Democratic leader in Congress Nancy Pelosi must now put her recognized talents to work as a strategist to address rising internal tensions, and ‘ There is a chance to deliver on Joe Biden’s promises. .

A left frustrated with ambitions, seen as too liberal and centrists reluctant to support some programs deemed too costly: nearly five months after the new president entered the White House, loopholes emerged among Democrats Because the conversation had turned around his elder. projects.

And a recent controversy surrounding the words of Ilhan Omar, an elected member of the House of Representatives, has brought to the fore other sharp divisions.

Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, the third most powerful figure in American politics after the president, and her deputy Kamala Harris, must essentially maintain the cohesion of her group, whose majority has already narrowed in January, these past few days. It has shrunk further in months. .

If Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer does a balancing act since January with his close parity in the upper house, the tensions of the past weeks have further complicated the task of the veteran politician aged 81.

– no more “foil” –

“We are all more effective when we have a foil on our faces,” House Republican-elect Tom Cole told AFP, referring to the fierce battle between Nancy Pelosi and Republican Donald Trump.

“It’s so hard when you control everything”: the two chambers of Congress and the White House, he blurred.

Among progressives, unease grew when Joe Biden publicly spoke with centrists to reach agreements on his coveted bills, from a massive plan to invest in infrastructure to reform police or support the fight against climate change. did.

However, the November 2022 mid-term parliamentary elections are drawing closer. Traditionally, little legislative progress has been made in an election year, and Democrats run the risk of losing their majority later.

“Everyone sees that the window (of action) will close,” said Michael Ceraso, a Democratic adviser who worked on Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016.

With the rise of this independent senator and other prominent figures in Congress, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Left feels it has strengthened the party over the past five years, but “no legislation has been passed to match that. in the DNA of the progressive movement,” he told AFP.

Moderates, for their part, believe it was they who contributed in a big way to securing a majority in the House in 2018 by snatching seats in conservative strongholds.

Nancy Pelosi, who has pledged to step down after the 2022 election, brushed off those divisions on Thursday.

“These are not flaws. We are a democratic party, which ignores everything without discussion. Who would want to be in such a party? He told reporters.

“We share a common ground for working American families in our party, and I have no doubt that we will eventually pass legislation to help American families work.”

And after accepting an explanation of Ilhan Omar’s controversial comments targeting Israel and the United States, the leader of the Democrats announced on Sunday that the topic was closed.

– “its strong point” –

If “Pelosi really can’t afford to lose a lot of votes”, recognizes Kyle Kondik, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, she is actually playing with an “advantage”: her parliamentary group is “much more homogeneous.” ideologically pre-Democratic majority in the House”.

And on Capitol Hill in Washington, his group seemed peaceful Thursday.

“We all understand that we don’t have much leeway. And that ultimately works oddly in his favor,” liberal Gerry Connolly told AFP, pushing for compromises.

But with a warning to our peers: “Consonance is essential to our success. “

These internal talks, “that’s its strong point,” says elected Democrat Tim Ryan of Ohio.

“This is where he is proficient in strategy to garner enough votes and I would never take the risk of saying that he is not capable of doing that.” ”

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