Dozens of Democrats Turn Against Biden, Side with Republicans in Key Vote

Dozens of Democrats Turn Against Biden, Side with Republicans in Key Vote

When gauging the unpopularity of our 46th president, Joe Biden, it's not just the polls you should look at.

Those polls are dire enough that even one of Biden’s favored media voices, Fareed Zakaria, is raising alarms about what they reveal in swing states. LBJ famously said that losing Walter Cronkite meant losing Middle America.

Biden likely watched Zakaria's CNN show last week and realized that if he’s lost Zakaria, he’s lost ... something significant. Remember, Corn Pop was a bad dude, but he was eaten by cannibals. Wait, where’s Jackie?

But let's set aside the president’s perpetual confusion. A more telling measure of the Biden administration’s success is how well they’re keeping congressional Democrats unified on major issues. Spoiler alert: Not very well.

On paper, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s guidelines on whether banks could hold cryptocurrencies should be an easy win for Democrats.

These guidelines have White House backing and the support of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who leads the “anti-cryptocurrency crusade” in the Senate, as Politico reported.

Yet, as Politico highlighted on Friday, this past week saw 32 Democrats supporting Republican-backed initiatives to end the Biden SEC’s cryptocurrency regulations, despite Biden's veto threats.

“The rift may grow further next week when the House takes up sweeping, industry-backed legislation to incorporate crypto trading into federal financial regulations,” reported Politico’s Jasper Goodman and Eleanor Mueller.

Cryptocurrency isn't typically viewed as a highly partisan issue, but clear lines are being drawn due to Biden’s SEC regulations against banks holding blockchain assets and the crypto-friendly stance of presumptive GOP presidential nominee, former President Donald Trump, who has promised to push back on such regulations if elected.

Moreover, such votes might signal Democrats' desire to challenge unelected officials within the Biden administration. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who voted for the rollback, stated, “I wanted to send a message.”

“I’m frustrated because we haven’t had a chance to debate any of the real [crypto] bills,” Booker said, one of 11 Senate Democrats to vote for the SEC rollback.

Among those opposing the president was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

“New York State already has a strong law on the books, and they weren’t consulted on this regulation,” Schumer noted.

Politico reported that legislators who voted for the rollback were driven by a combination of crypto advocacy, bank lobbying, and frustration with SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

Key House Democrats, including ranking House Financial Services Committee member Rep. Maxine Waters of California, plan to rally opposition to the plan in the lower chamber next week. However, this effort might be futile.

An aide familiar with “closed-door discussions” told Politico that “House Democratic leadership has yet to decide whether to whip against the crypto legislation scheduled for the floor next week.”

In plain language, “to whip against” means senior Democrats would urge their caucus members to vote against specific legislation—in this case, legislation that would undo a regulatory measure the president and progressive Democrats are likely to promote during the campaign season this fall.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the fiercest critic of those who sided with the GOP on the SEC rollback, expressed her concern in a Thursday interview, stating she was “concerned about anyone in Congress who is not worried about the threat posed by Iran and North Korea and their use of crypto.”

However, as Politico noted, she “declined to address the differences in her party,” meaning she avoided directly criticizing Democrats for opposing a White House agenda item.

When Biden’s unpopularity reaches a point where even Elizabeth Warren won't vigorously defend him to save her cherished crypto regulations, it indicates just how unpopular he is: When Democrats won't vote against the president, they’re also reluctant to align themselves with him.

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