• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Baseball break: Lawmakers pause infrastructure and debt ceiling squabbles for charity game

·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Democrats and Republicans briefly took their cross-aisle fights to the baseball diamond on Tuesday, battling it out at the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The more than century-old tradition to raise money for charity comes amid a backdrop of a looming government shutdown if Congress does not fund the government by Friday, a standoff between Republicans and Democrats on raising the debt ceiling, and Democratic infighting on infrastructure and reconciliation bills threatening President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

However, the game might actually be a strategic opportunity for the divided Democrats.

Democratic Majority Whip Jim Clyburn told reporters shortly before the game on Wednesday that he had not started whipping votes for the infrastructure bill. He also had no word on how an afternoon White House meeting between Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went.

“I’ll find out at the baseball game,” Clyburn said.

PELOSI COULD POSTPONE THURSDAY INFRASTRUCTURE VOTE

Biden, whose “Build Back Better” legislative agenda is on the line, greeted Democrats at the baseball game in their dugout during the second inning.

As lawmakers play a friendly game at Nationals Stadium, a not-so-friendly standoff exists both between and within the parties. Democratic centrists and progressives disagree on the timing of an infrastructure bill scheduled for a Tuesday House vote (which Pelosi could delay) and the content and price tag of a budget reconciliation bill of up to $3.5 trillion. Republicans also refuse to vote with Democrats to raise the debt limit, set to expire in mid-October.

Congress appears on track, though, to fund the government with a continuing resolution ahead of Friday’s deadline.

The annual event of Congressional Republicans vs. Democrats started in 1909 but has seen interruptions at times. In 2020, it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it was previously paused during the Great Depression and World War II. This year’s event will benefit the Washington Literacy Center, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, Washington Nationals Philanthropies, and the United States Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Firebrand Republican Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene is on the Republican team, along with Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot by a left-wing domestic terrorist during a Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game in 2017.

Wednesday is not the first time the annual game has interrupted the workflow of Congress.

According to the Congressional baseball game website, Speaker James Beauchamp "Champ" Clark of Missouri in 1914 was frustrated when the game prevented a quorum as the House debated an appropriations bill on cotton damage.

“Clark sent the Sergeant at Arms to American League Field to return the Members to the House Chamber,” the website says. “When the Sergeant at Arms arrived, rain had already canceled the game. The House eventually achieved a quorum but adjourned without making progress on the bill because Members remained preoccupied with their unfinished work on the baseball diamond.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Earlier on Wednesday, Pelosi raised eyebrows by meeting with Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson — a friend of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips, who is playing in Wednesday's baseball game — in her office. Harrelson is in Washington, D.C., to film The White House Plumbers, an HBO series about the Democratic National Committee Watergate break-in that led to Republican President Richard Nixon’s impeachment.

The game itself wasn't exactly a respite from the speaker's day job. Pelosi could be seen working the phones from the stands, presumably rounding up votes for the infrastructure bill and other pressing legislative matters.

Washington Examiner Videos

Tags: News, Congress, Congressional Baseball Game, Joe Biden

Original Author: Emily Brooks

Original Location: Baseball break: Lawmakers pause infrastructure and debt ceiling squabbles for charity game

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting