'Authoritarians feed on inaction': Democrats fear a midterm 'bloodbath' if they don't go bold
Nancy Pelosi AFP

House Democrats sense they've got limited time to pass their sweeping domestic agenda -- and that may be their only chance to win next year's elections.

A successful domestic policy package could energize the voters who delivered their 2020 wins, especially with an electoral "bloodbath" on the horizon, according to one Democratic lawmaker who spoke to The Daily Beast.

"I expect that we're going to lose the House, but I don't buy into the argument that if you fail to do this, we're guaranteed to lose the midterms — nor do I buy the argument that if we do this, we're guaranteed to win the midterms," said one Democratic lawmaker on the condition of anonymity.

That lawmaker agrees with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who wants Democrats to make the child tax permanent and get some other things right instead of fund a lot things for a shorter amount of time.

"You can't campaign on alphabet soup," the lawmaker said. "Let's talk about climate change and putting money in the hands of working families."

Progressives argue that Democrats must deliver both a $1 trillion bipartisan deal on "hard" infrastructure and a multi-trillion-dollar "Build Back Better Act," and even moderates say legislative victories are necessary to prevent Donald Trump from returning to the White House and further emboldening right-wing extremists.

"Authoritarians and people who are anti-democratic feed on inaction by democratic governments," said Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX). "[Democrats have] to be showing that all that organizing and all those people came out and voted in the pandemic, that it worked… that we then will pass legislation that will help you."

"My point wasn't that it's going to help us in terms of that we'll campaign on it," he added. "It's showing we can govern."