Internal party strife reportedly drove House Democratic leadership to pull a major budget vote scheduled for Tuesday after getting pushback from the party's far-left wing.
Politico reported that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were opposed to a measure to increase spending limits because they argued it prioritized defense spending over domestic programs. Rather, they wanted to bring domestic spending levels closer to parity with the Pentagon.
"This is not a hard ask — this is a $33 billion increase," Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said before the vote cancellation Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. "Here's a real opportunity to tell people we are investing in their future and not in a Pentagon … that is increasingly wasteful and hasn't conducted an audit."
But the party isn't only getting friction from its progressive wing when it comes to spending. Democratic moderates didn't like the budget caps bill because they found the spending increases to be "very problematic," Roll Call reported.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports, some Democratic moderates are proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in an effort to distance themselves from their far-left colleagues.
"There are further conversations we must have to reach consensus between the wings of our caucus, left and right," House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said in a statement. "But we all have a responsibility to govern and obligations to the American people, so our work continues."
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) chastised Democrats on social media with a tweet saying that the party has "no values & no agenda."
House Democrats couldn't even put together a budget. Now they want to increase government spending by hundreds of b… https://t.co/GxjIsY9FpZ— Steve Scalise (@Steve Scalise)1554841485.0
House Budget Committee ranking member Steve Womack (R-Ark.) said that Democrats had "neglected key fiscal responsibilities."
"The American people deserve better," Womack's statement continued. "We need to budget, address our debt and deficit, and get our fiscal house in order."
Even following two years of Republican control of the Congress and the White House, spending for the first six months of this fiscal year is 13.7 percent higher than the final year of the Obama administration.