Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues in a private meeting Thursday that she thought she had a deal this week with her longtime ally, Senate Minority Chair Charles E. Schumer: She would see to it that the House of Representatives passed a more liberal bill-financing law, and he would support it by persuading the Democratic senators to fight for it. Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) Said she was blind. Almost all Senate Democrats voted in favor of a Republican-backed bill that kept the House on its knees and was the most embarrassing defeat for Pelosi in the six months since the Democratic Chamber took over the Chamber.
"Schumer ruined all our influence on Wednesday by failing to hold onto his people," said a high-ranking House of Representatives adjutant.
Schumer (DN.Y.) believed meanwhile that Pelosi could not deliver their own deal. After the House moderators outraged Thursday, the Democrats had to abandon a plan to return the bill to the Senate before the end of the month.
"They blame everyone except themselves," said a high-ranking Democratic Advisor to the Senate. Contrary to Pelosi's private allegations, Adjutant Schumer never demanded that votes be withheld in the Senate.
The collapse between Pelosi and Schumer revealed the extent of the gross divisions among Congressional Democrats and opened up the possibility of further disputes. Congress is pushing for funding and debt ceilings this autumn. Democrats in both chambers agree that they must be in strategic step in hopes of defeating President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The sudden, bitter dispute between the country's two most powerful democrats is particularly notable as they have long collaborated – arm in arm through some of the party's most pivotal moments in Trump's presidency, including the 35-day partial closure of the government.
This report on the conflict between Pelosi and Schumer is based on interviews with 18 Democratic lawmakers and aides, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to openly discuss internal discussions in the weeks leading up to Thursday's vote.
"The Senate Democrats have been a big disadvantage to us," said MEP Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Co-chair of the Progressive Congress. "The advantage of a Democrat-controlled chamber is that you have people who can fight and win. For that, people in the minority chamber must fight, even if they lose.
Jim Manley, Communications Director of former Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, said, "I do not quite understand what the houseguests had hoped for here. , , , You should have reacted to this bill weeks ago. "
" These things happen, "Manley added. "The tension results from the difference in the rules. , , , The House of Representatives has always had a much more diverse caucus than the Senate, which makes it harder to deal with the House of Representatives from the perspective of the Senate leader. "
All the confusion could have been avoided, according to several Democratic aides on both sides of the Capitol. The $ 4.6 billion emergency spending bill for the humanitarian crisis at the US-Mexico border will bring additional money to the authorities overstretched by the influx of Central American migrants on the southern border.
Many lawmakers advocated adding border financing to a must-pass disaster relief bill that cleared Congress earlier this month. But members of the Progressive Group and the Congress's Hispanic Caucus, another group that worked closely on border issues, were reluctant to support a hastily negotiated deal.
This left the border design behind and gave McConnell more control that could determine when and how the Senate legislation was taken into account. And as June lasted and the border crisis deepened, legislators of the House of Representatives withdrew while negotiating with each other. This was partly due to the fact that the two caucuses were pushing hard for a tightening of the limit money.
According to the House's senior adviser, Jayapal made several demands at meetings that slowed progress and ultimately "ignited the flames." from many Democrats. Jayapal's office denied this assessment.
When the talks came to a standstill, McConnell announced in mid-June that he would present a border draft to the Senate before the break in July. The Senate Democrats decided that they had the choice: to negotiate or to be forced to pass the GOP legislation.
They opted for the former and two of the longest-serving members of Congress, Sens. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) And Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) A 4.6-billion-dollar deal from whose outlines were sketched during a joint trip by the two leading appropriators, the Paris Air Show .
Compared to a White House proposal, the draft compromise was considered a solid victory by most Senate Democrats. The bill ensured that migrants received humanitarian aid, while no new funds were provided for migrants' detention centers. had a strict ban on using funds for a border wall or strengthening the enforcement of immigration rules; and established new standards for facilities, while providing US $ 30 million in funding for immigration judges and grants to nonprofit organizations that care about migrants. 1 vote Only Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), A decidedly liberal critic of the Trump administration, opposed this.
"I think he was very nervous and wanted to leave and was not ready for Pelosi to work through her inner caucus," said a second House Democratic adviser on Schumer. "It was not that we did not care ; I think we had boxes that we had to check ."
Finally, the house's negotiators had a border draft on June 20, of which they believed that they could persuade the Democrats in their plenary hall to pass, and Nita M. Lowey (DN.Y.), Chairperson of the Grant Committee, presented the legislation to the Hispanic Caucus and handed it over the next day Repayments for immigration and customs clearance, as well as border ministry operations, and heightening the administration's ability to raise funds.
Meanwhile, new reports on poor conditions for immigrant children staying within Customs and Border Protection were issued Pressure on the Democrats continued – and they pushed for even more changes to ensure that migrants were subject to specific care standards. The following weekend, Jayapal and Progressive worked to secure changes from appropriators .
McConnell, meanwhile, made it clear that the Senate was only days away from voting on the bipartisan bill of his chamber, and Pelosi and Schumer began discussing the endgame.
According to representatives of the House of Representatives, Schumer encouraged Pelosi on Tuesday, the day before the vote on the border with the Senate, to pass the more liberal law in its plenary hall to prevent Schumers own members from supporting the immigration agreement with the Senate. The officials said McConnell should be forced to make more concessions to the Democrats, and Pelosi spent her Tuesday running the bill through the House – personally convincing the Liberals, who wanted even more provisions that this was their only shot to improve the Senate
It has highly valued the struggle for House of Representatives regulations, calling its adoption a "moral imperative" and denigrating the Senate bill as a "path of least resistance."
Many of the frustrations and disappointments of the progressives, "said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif), a liberal ally of Pelosi. "I think she is just as emotional and horrified as anyone else about what's going on at the border ."
At the same time, Pelosi, Lowey, and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) Have also telegraphed to their members that the Senate Bill would ultimately be acceptable.
"The Senate has a good bill; Our bill is much better, "Pelosi told her members at a Tuesday Caucus meeting. Hoyer told reporters the same day, "We think it's not as good as ours but not a bad one."
On Wednesday, Schumer, Pelosi and Lowey met before heading to a joint press conference shortly after Pelosi Electoral Security participated ended a telephone conversation with Trump, who urged her to accept the Senate bill. The three agreed on a strategy to send the bill back to the Senate in the hope of forcing a swift negotiation. Pelosi and Lowey agreed that the bill was good, according to a Senate assistant well-versed in the exchange. But Schumer also said that the Bill of the House bill was preferable, a House adviser added, so that Pelosi and her team still expected Schumer to play hard to gain more concessions that they had little reason to continue bargaining , McConnell had yet another card to play: The presidential debates on Wednesday and Thursday have withdrawn seven Democratic senators from Washington. When it was time to vote on the House version of the Border Law, the Democrats could only get 38 votes-in short, what they would need to block the passing of the Senate bill.
When it was time to vote only on the Senate version Six Democrats withheld their votes. The rest was missing or voted for – including Schumer.
Pelosi and the members of her leadership were shocked. For them, Schumer had given McConnell a nuclear weapon – the ability to boast that his legislation had overwhelming support from both parties and therefore should have passed the house.
The next day, Pelosi entered the two-hour leadership meeting, where he said Schumer could not keep his members in line. A high-ranking democratic adjutant called it "treason." Another legislator called it "a broken deal".
For those questioned in Schumers orbit, the bipartisan Senate vote on Wednesday should have been no surprise. In her view, Parliament was involved in border negotiations for weeks and should have known how deep the democratic support for the bill after the vote was in the 30 to 1 ratio.
In addition, the Senate officials knew the talks Neither Pelosi nor another House Democrat at one point explicitly asked the Senate Democrats to block the Senate version of the law. The real fulcrum, they believed, would come after the House of Representatives on Thursday had sent back a revised Senate Bill that forced negotiations with Republicans.
Instead, democratic centrists in the House of Representatives, strengthened by the overwhelming vote of the Senate, blocked this strategy which triggered an intense round of finger pointing .
During a private meeting this week, some top democrats mocked Schumer for talking Wednesday with a dreadful photo of a drowned father and a drowned daughter of migrants in the Senate. At the same time, they seem to undermine the house's efforts to bill the children improve.
Others whispered that the Senate Democrats "smelled" the vapors of the holiday break of July 4th – or simply did not want to complicate the schedules of presidential candidate who had to attend the Miami debate on Wednesday and Thursday .
In a statement released on Friday, Pelosi spokesman D rew Hammill said, "The focus of the speaker was always on Mitch McConnell. He tethered the children when he said they would get lost for the house. "
" Senate and House Democrats agree that Mitch McConnell is in the way of doing so much good for America, including more for the children on the border, "said Schumer spokesman Justin Goodman.
None of the speakers addressed questions to the other leader.