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CBC makes "progressives" look like the sellouts they are

Ryan Griffin in HuffPo, yeah yeah:

A bloc of African American House Democrats, angry and worried that not enough is being done about high unemployment by the administration, forced the postponement of a much-anticipated vote Thursday on comprehensive financial regulation reform.

And "progressives" couldn't do the same thing on health care why, exactly?

The Financial Services Committee had finished hearing amendments around 3 p.m. and recessed, planning to return at 4 for a final vote on the package. But during the break, some of the Democrats on the committee pigeonholed Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and told him they wouldn't vote for the bill because of the deepening problem of unemployment in their districts.

The refusal to vote for the package, a key priority of the administration, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in particular, was portrayed as a direct rebuke of the White House's "lack of response to the economic situation."

They had leverage, so they used it.

"We will not be proceeding to passage today," Frank began. "I have been meeting with members of the committee, particularly the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who have informed me that they are troubled by what they believe is the lack of response to the economic situation that is confronting them on the part of the administration, and therefore do not feel that they could -- in deference to the various constituencies that they represent -- vote for passage."

The CBC met earlier this week with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and expressed dissatisfaction with the administration's response to the unemployment situation, an aide familiar with the meeting said.

There are ten CBC members on the Financial Services Committee.

Now, Obama will naturally try to weasel out of any commitment he makes, and for all I know this is just kabuki by the CBC so they get a photo op at the upcoming White House jobs forum, but sweet Jeebus! They're giving us
something!

NOTE On the headline, I'd almost written "like the wimps they are," but that would be a narrative of Democratic weakness, and I don't accept that narrative; I think the Dems aren't weak, but are doing exactly what they want. Contrary to Darcy Burner's sloppy assertion, I've never called progressives "sell-outs." Until now -- when the CBC has set some sort of baseline, however low it turns out to be, for defending the constituents they supposedly respond to.

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Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Ten votes is a powerful bloc of votes on a committee. Did they have similiar pull on the commitees involved with health care? If not, it seems unfair to hold them accountable for something they couldn't have changed.

Now, if they were a powerful bloc on the relevant committees, well....