RE: Soooo about this morning’s meltdown…
It started yesterday morning and lasted all day long. House Democrats remain in a full blown panic that they’ve lost the debt ceiling messaging war and are now openly challenging Leader Jeffries’ leadership.
In a closed-door Democratic whip meeting yesterday, Rep. JAHANA HAYES challenged her party’s leadership team on the caucus’ debt ceiling messaging strategy.
“Why aren’t we staying this weekend?” the Connecticut Democrat asked, suggesting that the party should remain in Washington despite Republicans adjourning the House for Memorial Day recess just days ahead of a possible default on the federal debt. “We should stay here and ask Republicans how they can go home.”
“She’s right,” added Rep. DEBBIE DINGELL. The Michigan Democrat was supposed to officiate her goddaughter’s wedding in Italy this weekend, but decided to cancel her trip and instead stay behind in D.C., according to a source familiar.
House Democrats across ideological factions are frustrated at what they say is a lack of communication by the White House at a time when they should be preparing to defend their party’s president, who has frequently commented on his willingness to find compromise in hopes of striking a deal. Democrats have publicly and privately said the president isn’t responding forcefully enough to Republicans’ framing of the negotiations, and that their lack of insight into the process could jeopardize Democrats’ ability to whip votes in support once a bipartisan deal eventually hits the House floor.
The approach is a stark contrast to that of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and his lieutenants, who have held court with the press at length, multiple times per day, effectively shaping a narrative and — at least publicly — the parameters of the negotiations.
From: Will Reinert
Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2023 at 9:57 AM
To: Will Reinert
Subject: [PRESS] Soooo about this morning’s meltdown…
Hi there –
60% of Americans want to raise the debt ceiling ONLY if spending cuts are included, and now House Democrats are melting down in the press that they’ve lost the messaging war.
“Some Democrats, especially those who face tough reelections next year,have privately groused that the White House has bungled the messaging, is putting Democrats in a terrible negotiating position and could be forced to eat most of McCarthy’s demands. ‘I’ve never seen such a massive, surprising and consequential potential failure,’ said one Democratic member of Congress who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. ‘We’ll see where this comes out, but by definition we’re only measuring success on how much we lost.'”
“As McCarthy floods the zone with public comments about the state of debt-limit talks, some House Democrats are fretting that their party isn’t doing enough to push back. While talks between the White House and House Republicans continue with little tangible progress, there’s growing angst within the House Democratic Caucus that they’re losing the messaging battle.”
NRCC National Press Secretary Will Reinert said: “Truth hurts, and therealization that Americans back House Republicans hit extreme Democrats like a ton of bricks. Unfortunately for them, therapy sessions in the press won’t change voters’ minds that it’s time to end Democrats’ reckless spending.”