Moderate Democrats, many of them defeated Nov. 2, have little reason to cooperate with Speaker Nancy Pelosi when they return for the lame-duck session of Congress.
Pelosi has also yet to concede that Democrats will need to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, not just the middle class. She is also still pushing to pass an omnibus spending bill for this fiscal year rather than a short-term continuing resolution, which would kick the annual spending bills to next year, when Republicans will be in charge of the House.
Pelosi has also mentioned the possibility of acting on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act banning workplace discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.
But several senior Democratic aides said leaders’ preoccupation with battles over the top spots — including her own efforts to shore up Caucus support for Minority Leader — was hindering the development to a cohesive legislative strategy for the lame-duck session.
“I don’t sense that there’s a real plan right now in place by the Caucus on how to cast some of these votes that may be tough,” one senior aide said. The aide predicted that the Democratic rank and file would pressure leaders to move quickly and adjourn for the year.
“For the most part, most Members are going to want to come back, take their votes and leave,” the aide said.