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Politics Hoyer affirms House will vote Sept. 27 on bipartisan infrastructure bill

18:55  17 september  2021
18:55  17 september  2021 Source:   thehill.com

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a man wearing a suit and tie: Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) © Greg Nash Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Friday affirmed the chamber will vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill on Sept. 27, signaling Democratic leaders are still plowing full speed ahead on their planned timeline even though the larger $3.5 trillion bill to invest in social safety net programs still faces tough hurdles.

In a letter to lawmakers previewing this month's legislative session, Hoyer said the House will vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill the last week of September "pursuant to the rule passed in August."

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Under that agreement between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a small group of moderates, the House is scheduled to vote Sept. 27 on the bipartisan infrastructure bill even though progressives have long warned they won't support it if the larger, Democratic-only social spending package isn't completed yet.

The 13 House committees tasked with writing the $3.5 trillion package completed their work and advanced their respective portions this week, adhering to a Sept. 15 goal set by Democratic leaders.

Once the House returns on Monday from its summer recess, Pelosi will be tasked with rounding up the votes for the package with a slim majority that means she can only afford up to three defections.

Multiple tricky policy disputes remain unresolved, including lifting the cap on the state and local tax deduction and empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.

House Democrats face major divisions over infrastructure strategy

  House Democrats face major divisions over infrastructure strategy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is signaling that she won't be backed into a corner next week by moderates in her caucus who are refusing to back a budget agreement unless the speaker first allows a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. © Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks before a bill enrollment ceremony for "H.R. 1652 - VOCA Fix to Sustain the Crime Victims Fund Act of 2021" on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. The bill supports funding for state-level programs that help crime victims.

Aside from Democrats' two-part infrastructure plan, the House has a packed agenda for the next two weeks it is scheduled to be in session.

Congress has to pass a bill to keep the federal government funded past Sept. 30, when the current fiscal year ends. Lawmakers also need to pass legislation to raise the debt limit, which Republicans have vowed to oppose in protest of Democrats' massive social spending legislation.

Hoyer said the House will vote next week on a stopgap measure to keep the government funded, which is likely to last sometime into early December. He added that it will include supplemental funding for localities fixing damage from recent storms, like Hurricane Ida, which ravaged Louisiana and the East Coast, as well as for resettlement efforts for Afghans who worked with the U.S. during the war there.

Hoyer additionally indicated that the House will act next week on addressing the debt limit.

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  GOP Senate candidates backed Trump in trashing bipartisan infrastructure deal Republican Senate candidates mostly opposed bill to send billions to their states to fix roads, bridges, internet JD Vance, venture capitalist and author of 'Hillbilly Elegy' Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"The House will also take action to suspend the debt limit to ensure that America pays its bills on time," Hoyer wrote.

Beyond those fiscal deadlines, Hoyer confirmed the House will also vote next week on legislation to guarantee access to abortion after the Supreme Court earlier this month refused to block a restrictive Texas law that bans the procedure in almost all cases.

"Inaction by the Supreme Court to halt implementation of S.B. 8, the threat of other state attacks on the constitutional right to reproductive choice recognized in Roe v. Wade, and decades of precedent leave the House no choice but to act. We must ensure that women and health care providers are protected and that a woman's access to health care is not determined by where she lives," Hoyer wrote.

Other items slated for time on the jam-packed House floor schedule include the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which advanced out of the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month

Separately, legislation to provide veterans with a cost-of-living adjustment is also expected to reach the floor, and Hoyer indicated it would pass on a bipartisan basis.

House moderates threaten to block budget vote over infrastructure funding .
A group of House moderates is threatening to blow up Democrats’ plans of passing a $3.5 trillion budget resolution when the chamber is set to return August 23. House Democrats intended to vote on the $3.5 trillion budget blueprint in late August after the Senate approved the measure this week. The budget blueprint allows both the House and the Senate to craft a reconciliation bill, filled with progressive priorities, that can be passed with a simple majority and without Republican support.

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