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Are Democrats Relevant Again? Health Care Bill Turns DC Upside Down

Last week’s battle over the AHCA prompted the White House to both blame Democrats and realize they might need them to get things done…

Pelosi Schumer Trump Speech

As the American Health Care Act was pulled from the House floor on Friday, Democrats took turns boasting at podiums on Capitol Hill. And while the credit taking is a bit detached from reality, Democrats are suddenly in a more important position than they were following their failure to win the White House, Senate, and House in November.

Part of that newfound relevance is coming directly from the White House, whose officials indicated they may begin reaching out to “rank-and-file” Democrats and some in leadership.

See just three examples of this in today’s news:

Politico: One senior administration official says the White House now has their eyes on courting moderate Democrats. That official said they plan to reach out to House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and other rank-and-file Democrats who they think will be amenable to infrastructure spending and tax reform. The White House has already made contact with the Congressional Black Caucus.

The New York Times: Invigorated by the Republican dysfunction that led to a stunningly swift collapse of the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and relieved that President Barack Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment remains intact, Democrats are in their best position since their embarrassing loss in the November election. While it is far too soon to suggest that the House Republican majority may be imperiled, Democrats are newly optimistic about picking up seats in 2018, hoping to ride a backlash against Mr. Trump. Seeing an opportunity, they say they will not throw Mr. Trump a political life preserver at what they sense could be the first turns of a downward spiral.

Politico: Nancy Pelosi is suddenly relevant again. The implosion of the all-Republican effort to lay waste to Obamacare showed that President Donald Trump might need the San Francisco Democrat to salvage the rest of his agenda. The self-professed master negotiator couldn’t get it done with his own party, despite a 44-seat House majority, and hinted afterward he might start to look across the aisle.