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Monday, June 27, 2011

Congressional Democrats v. President Obama

House Democrats have their differences with the president, as James Madison could have predicted.

Pelosi can no longer get things done in the House — or stop them. She and her diminished caucus have been rendered all but irrelevant as President Obama and congressional Republicans accelerate the fight over spending, taxes and debt.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a close confidant of Pelosi’s, acknowledged the tensions between the White House and House Democrats. “Not great. Not great,” Miller said. “Listen, this is a rough-and-tumble world, but I think their relationship with the caucus has not been good.”
At times, The Hill reports, House Democratic attitudes extend beyond dissatisfaction to outright opposition:
A House Democrat warned Friday that the U.S. president is becoming an "absolute monarch" on matters related to the authority to start a war.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Congress must act to limit funding for military operations in Libya in order to correct that trend.

"We have been sliding for 70 years to a situation where Congress has nothing to do with the decision about whether to go to war or not, and the president is becoming an absolute monarch," Nadler said on the floor. "And we must put a stop to that right now, if we don't want to become an empire instead of a republic."

"I think that the nation's credibility, that is to say its promise to go to war as backed by the president, not by the Congress, ought to be damaged," he said.