They also appear set to launch various investigations into the president and his Cabinet. And although a handful of House Democrats such as Waters have pushed for Trump’s impeachment, Pelosi and other leaders of the caucus have dismissed that prospect. They worry a push to remove the president from office could galvanize Republicans and alienate moderate voters.
The party’s liberal wing has already started agitating for more drastic steps. Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats are pushing for a plan to move to 100 percent renewable energy in the coming years, on top of Pelosi’s pledge to resurrect a select committee on global warming.
The effort echoes a call for more dramatic action from Justice Democrats and other liberal groups. Shahid said Democrats need to use their power to hold Trump accountable and also seek “bold solutions” to address inequality, racism and climate change.
“This means policies like Medicare For All, free college, dismantling mass incarceration and mass deportation, and a WW2-scale green jobs program to rapidly transition toward 100 percent renewable energy,” he said.
Indivisible, a group that helped to give Democrats grassroots support in this year’s elections, released a new version of its guide for activists after the midterms. It includes one potential approach for how the party can use its power.
The group has pushed for Democrats to use a two-part approach in the House, passing so-called messaging bills for priorities that will not gain Republican support, and using important legislation such as funding bills to extract concessions from the GOP. Indivisible has also supported Pelosi’s bid for the speaker’s gavel, and called on her to put freshmen representatives such as Tlaib on key committees.
Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, casts herself as a progressive despite the demands of leadership that require cooperation with Republicans.
For groups such as the Progressive Policy Institute, the election was a nod of approval for center-left solutions. Marshall said he is “not sure there’s a public appetite for the highly federalized expansions of federal power.”
He added that Democrats have to find a balance of appeasing liberal activists and the type of centrist voters who helped the party to win swing districts. He thinks that, if Democrats would lose the House or presidential election, it would be because of overreach.
“We just caution Democrats not to fall into the trap that thinks bold is big government initiatives that are likely to repel the kind of voters that brought Democrats to victory,” he said.