Why House Democrats Have Fallen in Line and Republicans Haven’t
It hasn’t been a banner year for the nation’s major political parties in the wake of the 2016 presidential election that saw them win a narrow majority at the polls. Since then, the GOP has maintained its narrow majority in the Senate while the Democrats, meanwhile, have held on to their majority status in the House.
But what happens if both parties are stuck with such minority members? What if Democrats don’t have a real shot at flipping the House, and if the Republicans don’t have a reasonable path toward becoming a majority in the Senate?
The answer is that the party that holds the majority in one chamber would have to be the ones to make any concessions, because the minority party in each chamber would have to agree to give these majority parties a “better deal.”
That’s what happened in 2008; the Democrats held the House and held onto every single concession they could get from the Republicans in exchange for the “super-majority” they needed to pass President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform bill. They got the first “better deal” the night of the 2010 midterms when House Democrats passed the American Health Care Act by a vote of 236-181. That legislation, which received a final blessing from the Senate this past Friday evening, will now go out for public opinion polling as the “Better Deal 2.0.” That bill will undoubtedly make major changes to the healthcare system, as the Senate version of the legislation will make major changes to the federal immigration system. This new legislation could end up passing the House and Senate just like the AHCA did in 2010.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called the new AHCA “the beginning of the end of the Obama presidency.” That assessment was made before the Senate passed the new legislation. That’s because the House and Senate versions of the AHCA had very little overlap in terms of their