Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi was the odd person out when the Democratic-led Senate and the Democratic president joined most House Republicans in backing a $1.1 trillion spending bill she opposed. It was an unusual spot late Thursday for the veteran California lawmaker, who did as much as anyone to help President Barack Obama enact his landmark health care law and wind down the war in Iraq. Pelosi, like many other House liberals, called the spending bill a sop to big banks and big political donors. She said she was “enormously disappointed” the White House backed it. But she stopped short of going all out to block it, which would have involved “whipping” her fellow Democrats. Less than three hours before the government was to run out of money, Pelosi found herself the leader of a liberal faction outnumbered by a combination of pragmatists in her party, in the GOP and in a White House that’s bracing for further compromises with a Congress soon to be controlled by Republicans. The 219-206 House vote saved Obama from embarrassment and a quick renewal of bitter partisan fights over short-term spending bills. But it couldn’t hide his strained relations with Democrats who largely… Read full this story
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