Top members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) played a leadership role in brokering the deal that allowed the bipartisan infrastructure bill to emerge from the House deadlock and reach President BidenJoe Biden Video showing violence removed from Rep. Gosar’s account after pushback Federal judge rejects Trump’s effort to block Jan.6 documents Expected price increases raise political stakes for Biden MOREdesk.
It all underscores the growing power of the CBC in a House that only Democrats have by a narrow margin, as well as the close ties between the group, the president, and the president. Nancy pelosiNancy Pelosi Video showing violence removed from Rep Gosar’s account after setback Overnight Energy and Environment – Presented by ExxonMobil – Biden Invests Trump in Owl Habitats Healthcare Overnight – Presented by Rare Access Action Project – Pfizer wants reinforcements for everyone MORE (D-Calif.).
Passing the infrastructure bill late Friday night was a huge victory for Biden, who desperately needed it, and it was also a victory for the party as a whole, which had been a bit on a losing streak that culminated. with the victory of the Republican Party in the governorship of Virginia. race.
Caucus members said the effort showed how the goals of Biden and the CBC have been shared since the Democratic presidential primary.
“Blacks… are one of the determining factors for Joe Biden to be in the White House. We went out, introduced ourselves, supported him and stopped him at the finish line, ”said Rep. Brenda lawrenceBrenda Lulenar Lawrence Black Caucus emerges as winner in White House spending package to greet lawmakers as negotiations on agenda reach critical stage Patience with Biden wearing thin among black leaders MORE (D-Mich.), The second vice president of CBC, told The Hill in an interview.
“Do we have a vested interest in the agenda that we campaigned for, that we fought for with Joe Biden? Absolutely, ”Lawrence said.
The deal, orchestrated by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (DS.C.) and CBC Chairman Joyce beattyJoyce Birdson BeattyHouse passes 1 trillion infrastructure bills, advances Liberals social spending plan, moderates strike deal on Biden’s agenda, clears the way for votes Progressives leave Black Caucus leader waiting outside the meeting MORE (D-Ohio), saw the House pass both the infrastructure bill and the rule that governs the debate on Biden’s Build Back Better climate and social spending package, which allowed the White House to demand progress on that as well. measure.
Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat, told The Hill that the CBC helped other groups reach a compromise that benefited Biden and the party as a whole.
“It is time for us to go beyond that comfort zone that we have and give up some of our conflicts to find common ground,” Clyburn said, reflecting on the day.
Friday was a busy day for the majority whip, who is responsible for counting the votes of House Democrats. Clyburn met with the House moderates at 8 a.m. Before turning to meet with the entire CBC at 9 a.m. M.
“All this marinated during the day,” he said.
Clyburn’s fieldwork eventually led him, Beatty, and other senior CBC members to bring their novel plan to vote on the infrastructure bill and the rule for the other package to President Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif. ) That afternoon.
The group made clear that they did not believe Democrats could return to their districts without voting on the infrastructure bill.
“We contacted Nancy Pelosi and told her we had a lot to lose,” Lawrence said. “We need to get this bill passed, and we are going to come to the table and resolve this.”
The meeting resulted in a breakthrough. “We are going to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure [bill], and we’re going to vote on the rule then, ”Beatty announced at the time.
The plan was met with immediate rejection by progressives who opposed untying the bills. At one point, Beatty waited more than an hour outside a private meeting held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) on Friday night before being let in.
Speaking to reporters in the hallway at the time, Beatty, whose membership overlapped with the CCP, emphasized that he was not taking sides in the stalemate and was there to “listen” to his colleagues and discover a way forward in the stagnant legislation.
When he left the meeting hours later, Beatty was hopeful about the progress made and then said Democrats were on their way to finally landing “the plane.”
Hours later, after a series of negotiations and statements by centrists committed to supporting increased social spending and the climate bill, the Democrats and Biden scored a major victory.
Democratic strategist Joel Payne said he believes there is a “strategic political advantage” in having someone with Beatty’s temperament help lead the negotiations amid rising tensions between the warring factions on Friday.
“President Beatty doesn’t chase cameras. Without naming names, there have been other CBC presidents who are more bombastic. … That’s certainly not Congresswoman Beatty’s reputation, ”said Payne, who previously served under the former Senate Majority Leader. Harry reidHarry Mason Reid In a nutshell Harry Reid calls on Democrats to move forward on immigration Democrats prepare for a difficult election year in Nevada MORE (D-Nev.) And Rep. Barbara leeBarbara Jean Lee Marijuana Law Reform Before the Holidays: A Three-Front Approach House progressives call on Biden to end all new fossil fuels that allow overnight healthcare – Presented by Altria – Immersion in COVID-19 Cases Offers Possible Sign of Hope MORE (D-Calif.).
The objectives of the CBC and the Biden administration are intertwined, and the CBC sees strengthening Biden as a means of strengthening itself and promoting shared priorities.
Lawrence said the caucus is “determined to let the United States know that we are here. We have a great interest in the success of this country ”.
The caucus, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary and has more members than ever, has a close working relationship with the administration, which includes three former CBC members in Vice Chair Harris, Senior Advisor Cedric RichmondCedric Richmond Democrats shift focus to spending package after infrastructure approval Sunday shows: Biden officials seek social spending package after infrastructure approval Senior White House aide touts package expenses after infrastructure approval PLUS and Secretary of Housing and Urbanism Marcia fudgeMarcia FudgeBiden Speaks to Murphy, McAuliffe Post Gubernatorial Election Shontel Brown Wins Special Election to Replace Marcia Fudge in Ohio House District LIVE COVERAGE: Youngkin Wins Virginia; New Jersey governor’s race in a tie MORE.
And Biden campaigned on broad and ambitious promises to African Americans, many of which are tied to spending bills.
Still, there have also been disappointments for the CBC when it comes to Biden, who has failed to bend his party to pass priorities like police reform and voting rights. Biden has also not increased the pressure on centrist senators like the Sen. Joe manchinJoe Manchin: Expected Price Hikes Raise Political Stakes for Biden Justice Co-Founder Democrats: Democrats Have Allowed Manchin, Sinema to Become Party “Dictators” Biden Calls for Democratic Unity at DNC Event MORE (D) from West Virginia to end filibuster.
Fudge said he was not surprised by the active role the CBC took in getting Biden’s infrastructure bill passed to the House.
“They are doing exactly what I would expect them to do, lead,” Fudge told The Hill.
“Probably the oldest caucus, the most experienced [one], so I hope they lead. So I was not surprised at all. I am very, very happy to say that they did and that they moved a lot of things that they hadn’t been able to move before their participation. “
Friday’s passage also underscored the partnership between CBC and Pelosi, one that Lawrence described as “strong.”
“I’ve never had a time when Nancy Pelosi didn’t listen to or respect the members of the Black Caucus,” Lawrence said.
Payne said he believes the relationship between the two has “grown in importance” over the years, including in the current Congress, where Democrats have a very small majority in the House.
“The Spokesperson has a much smaller majority now than when she was Spokesperson in the past. Literally every vote counts, ”he said. “And there are some of those votes in the CBC that are part of that coalition that she needs to protect and that she needs to block.”