Many Democrats say they worry about repeating the mistakes they made last time they controlled the White House and Congress, when their top priorities languished as President Barack Obama and other Democratic leaders sought bipartisan compromises.
In the end, the Affordable Care Act and a major stimulus package endured weeks or months of pummeling as the two sides talked, yet they ultimately attracted little GOP support even after being scaled back. Immigration and climate bills, meanwhile, failed to pass at all.
“We must not repeat the mistakes of 2008 to 2009, when Congress was too timid and constrained in its response to the global financial crisis,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday on the Senate floor.
Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who was a House member in 2009, recalled spearheading passage of a climate bill there, then watching it die in the Senate.
“It’s not ancient history — 2009 is the analogue,” Markey said. “We then waited for senate bipartisanship to break out. It never happened. And I don’t think it will happen this time.”