(USA Features) Majority Democrats have “no interest” in working with Republican lawmakers on some of the most impactful legislation, according to Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y.
In an interview with Newsmax on Friday, Tenney said Democrats in the evenly-divided Senate, where their majority comes from Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote, are using budget reconciliation to push through legislation including $3.5 trillion in new spending the GOP opposes, as well as immigration bills.
“It’s really amazing that [Democrats] have no interest in working with us or working with anyone,” Tenney told host Chris Salcedo. “
They just are shoving through everything they can, almost in anticipation that they may lose the majority, and they want to completely dismantle everything that has been put in place, not just in the last four years with the prior presidential administration, but … really over the last several years with the problems that they’re facing,” she added.
She added that Democrats are attempting to govern as if they have “massive” majorities in the House and Senate rather than only about 12 votes in the House while the Senate is split 50-50.
Democrats are using budget reconciliation to pass otherwise unpopular legislation on a simple majority vote, thereby avoiding the 60-vote filibuster rule to move legislation forward.
Named for the late Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., the “Byrd Rule,” put in place in the 1980s, prevents legislation that does not contain budgetary changes in revenue or spending, make the deficit larger, items not within the jurisdiction of the committee that submitted it, “incidental” budget changes that are needed for the legislative item, items that boost the deficit outside the “reconciliation window,” and bills affecting Social Security.
Even though Democrats reached a deal with about 12 Republican senators on $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending, party leaders simultaneously tracked the reconciliation bill that contains much spending the GOP opposes.
“The Byrd Rule says that it has to have something, that when you do reconciliation, that each provision has to have something to do with the budget and with appropriations,” Tenney said.
“And right now, this is going to be a real stretch under the Byrd Rule, so I’m not sure where they’re going with this,” she added.
“I would love to see Sen. Tom Cotton [R-Ark.] weigh in on that as well. But [Sen.] Joe Manchin [D-W.Va.] seems to be going along with all this, and that’s our problem,” she said.
Manchin, along with another Democratic moderate, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have both resisted calls by their party to end the filibuster rule altogether.