Democrats retake House of Representatives in US Congress

Some progressive Democrats announce opposition to new House rules

Ocasio-Cortez said she will join California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna to oppose the so-called "pay-go" rule backed by Pelosi, which requires that any new mandatory spending for entitlements or tax cuts that increase the federal deficit be offset by other revenue increases or budget-cutting measures before the House considers it for a vote.

Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old representative-elect from New York City, said on Twitter Wednesday that the system referred to as paygo "isn't only bad economics", but is "also a dark political maneuver created to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg".

"We shouldn't hinder ourselves from the start", Ocasio-Cortez concluded. Democratic leaders can lose as many 17 votes within their ranks and still pass the rules package, which is usually a mundane vote for House majorities. "By eliminating the Holman Rule from the House Rules package for the 116th Congress, Democrats will end an underhanded GOP tactic to sneak attacks on federal employees into must-pass bills", the delegation said in a news release. Democrats believe under an obscure IRS rule, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal of MA, has the power to obtain the returns from the Treasury Department. Sixteen current and incoming House Democrats signed a letter in November saying they believed, "more strongly than ever that the time has come for new leadership".

Additional elements to the rules package include ethics reforms that preclude congressional members and their staff from serving on corporate boards, as well as the revival of a rule that all legislation must be made available at least 72 hours before a vote is held. Other notable provisions include reviving the "Gephardt rule", which automatically raises the debt ceiling when the House passes a budget. Many Democrats don't like the paygo policy but are willing to support the overall rules package because they favor other provisions.

"We all agree that the real problem with PAYGO exists in the statute that requires it", they said in a statement.

Beyond Khanna and Ocasio-Cortez, however, opposition to the proposal appeared muted Wednesday.

House Democratic leaders agreed previous year to drop another rule proposal opposed by Pocan and Jayapal, one that would have made it more hard to pass legislation raising taxes.

"I will be voting NO on the Rules package with #PayGo".

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