Another blockbuster scoop by The Intercept

A Wall Street-funded pressure group offered to raise $200,000 for two conservative Democrats if they would cancel their appearances at a fundraiser hosted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to sources.

Big-time Wall Street investors have launched a blitz to block the $3.5 trillion infrastructure package backed by progressives, which includes tax increases on corporations and superrich private equity investors.

They’ve deployed a small army of lobbyists and hired former staffers of nearly two dozen Democratic members of Congress to kill the bill.

And it now appears that dark-money group No Labels is dangling incentives for legislators to oppose the package, with the group offering to fundraise for conservative Democrats in return for breaking ranks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In June, No Labels co-founder Nancy Jacobson was explicit in her plan to use donor money to “reward” members of Congress who voted the... way the organization wanted, according to audio of a private meeting obtained by The Intercept.

And now sources have told The Intercept that No Labels offered to raise $200,000 for two conservative Democrats if they would cancel their appearances at a fundraiser hosted by Pelosi. (One of the two did in fact cancel his appearance.)

Polling shows that the public overwhelmingly supports the tax hikes on the rich that No Labels and their funders are trying to kill, and as they use their war chest to try to buy off Congress, The Intercept is on the case, calling out the anti-democratic power of money.

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President Joe Biden has made infrastructure the centerpiece of his legislative agenda heading into the midterm elections, and there is no bigger fight in Congress right now.

Democrats’ strategy to pass the plan hinges on a delicate two-step legislative maneuver, passing part of the plan through the bipartisan $1 trillion bill that passed the Senate last month, and the rest through the budget reconciliation process, which allows Democrats to bypass a Senate filibuster and pass the remaining $3.5 trillion on a party-line vote.

But in order for the Democrats’ strategy to work, they can’t afford any serious defections from their own members.

That’s where No Labels comes in, with “hard dollars” in hand for members of Congress. If they can get just five or six House Democrats to defect and oppose the party’s agenda, they have the leverage to block any tax increases on their Wall Street funders.

The Intercept is continuing to dig into the dark money behind No Labels and the group’s cozy relationship with conservative Democrats like Rep. Josh Gottheimer, leader of the “Unbreakable Nine” faction blocking the party’s agenda.

This kind of reporting isn’t cheap or easy, and since we accept no advertising on our website and do not put our journalism behind a paywall, we count on readers to help fund our work.

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Thank you, The Intercept team

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