WASINGTON, D.C. – Utah’s Rep. Blake Moore, R-1st District, has cancelled a visit to Logan that was scheduled for this evening.
The freshman congressman had been slated to hold a public town hall at 5 p.m. tonight at the Cache County Events Center in Logan.
But Moore’s press secretary, Caroline Tucker, announced at mid-morning that Moore had been called back to Capitol Hill to participate in crucial votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The House is normally in recess in August, giving lawmakers like Moore a golden opportunity to reconnect with their constituents. But political bickering there still continues this summer over stalled legislation and conflicting political strategies.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has recalled House members this week in the hope of passing a voting rights bill and a controversial budget resolution. But moderate mavericks in her own party now threaten that agenda.
Nine House Democrats have told Pelosi that they won’t vote to approve her $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package unless the House sends a Senate-passed $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill to President Joe Biden’s desk.
House staffers have told the inside-the-Beltway journal Roll Call that Pelosi is holding out for a much more generous infrastructure bill with additional Democratic spending priorities including social programs redefined as infrastructure needs.
Critics of the speaker’s strategy say Democrats should pass the Senate’s infrastructure bill and call it a rare bipartisan victory. But that approach could alienate the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, with whom Pelosi is already on shaky ground.
Complicating the political drama is the reality that Democrats in the House can’t afford to lose more than three of their members on otherwise party-line votes.
House strategists also suspect that the aforementioned nine Democrats may not be the only party members willing to scuttle Pelosi’s budget plan over the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Also at stake in the votes that Moore is returning to cast is the fate of the so-called John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, named in honor of the late civil rights advocate.
That bill seeks to respond to recent Supreme Court rulings by restoring and strengthening the 1965 Voting Rights Act to counter voting law changes passed by Republican-controlled states.
Earlier this year, Senate Republicans defeated the “For the People Act,” a House proposal that included similar provisions that would have limited the authority of states to manage their own elections.
In recent years, GOP lawmakers have almost unanimously opposed Democratic efforts to pass a new Voting Rights Act and they condemned the “For the People Act” as an attempted “federal takeover” of state elections.
In her announcement cancelling Moore’s visit to Logan, Tucker promised that the local town hall gathering would be scheduled at a later date.