More than 115 Democrats in the House have signed on to HR 1384, the House single payer Medicare for All bill.
Jimmy Dore wants them to get a vote on the bill when the new Congress meets in January.
To accomplish this, Dore proposes that single payer lawmakers go to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and say to her – we won’t support you for Speaker unless you agree to bring the single payer bill to a vote on the floor of the House.
Dore’s idea has power. The House majority in the new Congress will be a slim margin – maybe as few as ten votes – down from 35 in the last Congress.
Dore is calling on fifteen House single payer Democrats – just 13 percent of the Democrats who have signed onto HR 1384 – to withhold their votes for Pelosi unless she brings HR 1384 to a vote on the House floor.
We called on the current members of the House who have co-signed HR 1384 and asked them whether they would withhold their support for Pelosi unless she puts the single payer bill up for a vote.
Some, like California Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, explicitly rejected Dore’s call to stand up to Speaker Pelosi.
“Congressman DeSaulnier supports Speaker Pelosi and would not withhold his support,” said DeSaulnier’s press secretary Ben Enos.
But most are just giving the idea a corporate cold shoulder.
Even the much heralded squad — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan), Ayana Pressley (D-Massachusetts) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) — refused to stand against Pelosi and the corporate Democrats.
When Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson tweeted his support for Dore’s idea, Ocasio-Cortez shot back in Pelosi’s defense.
“Problem w/ this idea is that there isn’t enough thought given to step 2,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “The Dem votes aren’t there yet, and with a razor-thin margin the Dem NOs are > margin. So you issue threats, hold your vote, and lose. Then what?”
To which Dore responded — “This is really turning into a bit of a “self- unmasking” for
“You are revealing that you never ever intended to use ur leverage to fight for Med4all or cross ‘MammaBear.’”
Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), the former co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, instead of standing up for single payer, also trashed the idea of standing up to Pelosi.
“Fifteen votes doesn’t make sense,” Pocan told Thom Hartmann. “It comes from someone who maybe doesn’t have a great strategy going.”
“I just told you where that number comes from,” Dore said. “It’s the difference in the new House.”
“Secondly, if we bring Medicare for All to the floor of the House, it will lose,” Pocan said.
“Why will it lose?” Dore asked. “Nine out of ten Democratic voters support it. And the majority of Republican voters support it.”
“If it loses, then we know who is on our side and who is not,” Dore said. “Then we can put a marker down. You are supposed to pass Medicare for All in the House and make the Senate kill it so then the Democrats can run on that. That’s how you take over the Senate.”
“America needs Medicare for All right now,” Dore said. “We are in the middle of a pandemic. As people are losing their employment, they also lose their health care. This doesn’t happen in any other first world industrial country on the planet. Not only does America need Medicare for All, America wants Medicare for All. Yet, the Speaker of the House has never put Medicare for All for a vote. Who do they really work for?”
“And now, Democrats have nominated Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House again without a challenge. The House votes the first week of January. This is our leverage. Now is our time. I call upon all elected House members, all the members who ran on Medicare for All, all the members of the squad, all progressives — we need 15 Democrats or fewer to tell Nancy Pelosi that you will not vote for her as Speaker unless Medicare for All is put on the House floor for a vote.”
“Do progressive House members answer to their constituents?” Dore asked. “Or do they answer to the party bosses?”
“This is the only time in the next two years that the progressives are going to have any leverage whatsoever,” Dore said. “It is time to get people on the record. Some people say — it wouldn’t pass. Then the American people, who are overwhelmingly for Medicare for All, need to know who is against it.”
“Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi hate progressives more than they hate Republicans,” Dore said. “The first job of the Democratic party is to crush the politician representing the workers. Then and only then can they move on to try and go against Republicans. Their first order of business was to crush Bernie Sanders. Then and only then could they move on to try and defeat Donald Trump.”
“Progressives don’t realize that their obstacle right now is a conservative right winger who is a puppet of Wall Street and the military industrial complex — Nancy Pelosi. If they are not willing to stand up to Nancy Pelosi right now to get Medicare for All for people in the middle of a deadly pandemic, then what is the point of voting for them?”
“Now is the time they have power. In two years, the Democrats are going to get wiped out in the House. They will lose their majority and their speakership. The only time the progressives are going to have any power is right now at this moment.”