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

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

The greater than century-old custom to lift cash for charity comes amid a backdrop of a looming authorities shutdown if Congress doesn’t fund the federal government by Friday, a standoff between Republicans and Democrats on elevating the debt ceiling, and Democratic infighting on infrastructure and reconciliation payments threatening President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda.

Nonetheless, the sport would possibly truly be a strategic alternative for the divided Democrats.

Democratic Majority Whip Jim Clyburn informed reporters shortly earlier than the sport on Wednesday that he had not began whipping votes for the infrastructure invoice. He additionally had no phrase on how a day White Home assembly between Biden, Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer went.

“I’ll discover out on the baseball sport,” Clyburn mentioned.


Biden, whose “Construct Again Higher” legislative agenda is on the road, greeted Democrats on the baseball sport of their dugout throughout the second inning.

As lawmakers play a pleasant sport at Nationals Stadium, a not-so-friendly standoff exists each between and throughout the events. Democratic centrists and progressives disagree on the timing of an infrastructure invoice scheduled for a Tuesday Home vote (which Pelosi might delay ) and the content material and price ticket of a price range reconciliation invoice of as much as $3.5 trillion. Republicans additionally refuse to vote with Democrats to lift the debt restrict, set to run out in mid-October.

Congress seems on monitor, although, to fund the federal government with a seamless decision forward of Friday’s deadline.

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The annual occasion of Congressional Republicans vs. Democrats began in 1909 however has seen interruptions at instances. In 2020, it was canceled as a result of coronavirus pandemic, and it was beforehand paused throughout the Nice Despair and World Warfare II. This yr’s occasion will profit the Washington Literacy Heart, The Boys and Ladies Golf equipment of Larger Washington, Washington Nationals Philanthropies, and the USA Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Firebrand Republican Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene is on the Republican group, together with Minority Whip Steve Scalise, who was shot by a left-wing home terrorist throughout a Republican follow for the Congressional baseball sport in 2017.

Wednesday is just not the primary time the annual sport has interrupted the workflow of Congress.

In keeping with the Congressional baseball sport web site, Speaker James Beauchamp “Champ” Clark of Missouri in 1914 was annoyed when the sport prevented a quorum because the Home debated an appropriations invoice on cotton injury.

“Clark despatched the Sergeant at Arms to American League Subject to return the Members to the Home Chamber,” the web site says . “When the Sergeant at Arms arrived, rain had already canceled the sport. The Home finally achieved a quorum however adjourned with out making progress on the invoice as a result of Members remained preoccupied with their unfinished work on the baseball diamond.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Pelosi raised eyebrows by assembly with Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson — a buddy of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips, who’s enjoying in Wednesday’s baseball sport — in her workplace. Harrelson is in Washington, D.C., to movie The White Home Plumbers, an HBO collection concerning the Democratic Nationwide Committee Watergate break-in that led to Republican President Richard Nixon’s impeachment.

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The sport itself wasn’t precisely a respite from the speaker’s day job. Pelosi might be seen working the telephones from the stands, presumably rounding up votes for the infrastructure invoice and different urgent legislative issues.

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