Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out on Thursday about members of Congress voting against plans to expand access to affordable housing.
“Nobody should have to decide whether a medical condition pushes them in or out of reach of a critical health care service,” she said at a Women’s March event.
Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said later in the day that the debate was “largely driven by the most extreme parts of the Democrats, with a very small core of the Republicans also.”
The Senate on Tuesday voted down a bill to increase federal housing credit funding.
“The senators opposing the bill had a choice between economic freedom and economic stability for working Americans,” Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said in a statement. “I respect their views, but the truth is they are fundamentally wrong.”
House Democrats also have their own partisan squabbles — and they’re one of the reasons the plans to provide universal healthcare, for example, are being put on hold in the upper chamber. That means millions of Americans could face higher premiums — especially people who have health insurance but couldn’t afford its cost.
Further complicating the picture, Democrats in Congress generally agree on how to address other housing needs: on minimum wage, on access to affordable housing.
This made it surprising to some when committee members from the two parties agreed on their opposition to the increase to loan assistance funds.
Senate Republican, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said: “Anyone who can point to an American who benefits from this federal subsidy may find something wrong with that picture. But all other assertions are just that — assertions — and the bill is a down payment on a larger debate we will have in the future.”
That is pretty much what Schumer said on Thursday when he called the senators’ vote “absurd.”
“The New York Democrat said he knew of several executives who would be forced to move due to the federal subsidy’s cutoff.
“Democrats like Senators Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Sherrod Brown of Ohio opposed the legislation as well,” The New York Times reported.
Regardless of the cause, this is just the latest example of how even some bipartisan initiatives on matters that are generally bipartisan — like a housing bill — have fallen victim to partisan gridlock.