Politics Moderate House Democrats threaten to blow up infrastructure negotiations
Republicans may abandon infrastructure bill because Pelosi 'linked' it with reconciliation: GOP Rep. Johnson
Rep. Dusty Johnson is a Problem Solvers Caucus Republican who is supportive of the bipartisan infrastructure bill but says he may be forced to vote against it because it's too "linked" with the reconciliation bill. "I think Nancy Pelosi did this whole process a real disservice by linking them together so strongly and she continues to do that. And that makes it very difficult to bring Republicans to the party," Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC), told Fox News Wednesday.
A group of moderate House Democrats on Friday threatened to blow up infrastructure negotiations, highlighting the delicate line that party leadership is trying to walk as it pushes two bills totaling over $4 trillion.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, nine Democratic legislators said they would not vote to advance a budget resolution until the chamber votes on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed the Senate earlier this week. Pelosi has said she would not hold a vote on the infrastructure deal until the large budget plan, which includes funding for climate and social programs, has also cleared the Senate.
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“We will not consider voting for a budget resolution until the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passes the House and is signed into law,” read the letter from the House members. With Democrats holding only a five-vote majority in the House, the holdouts imperil the two-track plan that Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are trying to navigate.
Schumer and Pelosi have attempted to appease both sides of the party by allowing moderates to get a bipartisan win working with Republicans while fulfilling White House promises and progressive priorities on issues like climate, elder care and Medicare expansion via a $3.5 trillion budget resolution that would be passed only with Democratic votes. The bipartisan deal hammered out by the Senate moderates includes about $550 billion in new spending, a quarter of President Biden’s initial proposal, and lacks provisions on climate and care workers included in his original plan.
Nine moderate Dems threaten budget and infrastructure deals
A group of nine moderate Democrats told Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday they won't vote for the $3.5 trillion budget package until the House passes the bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate. The threat is enough to sink the budget deal, which contains a long list of social policy items demanded by progressives.But, in the other corner of the party are the liberals, who've told Pelosi they won't vote for the infrastructure deal until the Senate passes the budget package.Friday's announcement puts Pelosi in a rock and hard place between the two wings of her party.
“Some have suggested that we hold off on considering the Senate infrastructure bill for months — until the reconciliation process is completed. We disagree,” read the letter. “With the livelihoods of hardworking American families at stake, we simply can’t afford months of unnecessary delays and risk squandering this once-in-a-century, bipartisan infrastructure package.”
The letter was signed by Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Filemon Vela of Texas, Jared Golden of Maine, Ed Case of Hawaii, Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Costa of California and Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia.
Pelosi has been asked repeatedly over the previous weeks about her plans and consistently said she will not hold a vote in the House until both bills have cleared the Senate. “I am not freelancing,” she said on. “This is the consensus.
House progressives reiterate pledge to vote down infrastructure deal unless budget agreement is reached
With a key House vote on the bipartisan infrastructure legislation currently set for Thursday, the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus reiterated that left-wing members of the House would sink the agreement unless Democrats can reach a deal on passing the party’s $3.5 trillion budget proposal. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., has stated repeatedly during the past few weeks that a majority of the 96-member progressive caucus, which she chairs, will not vote for the bipartisan bill unless the budget agreement has already been passed.
“The votes in the House and Senate depend on us having both bills,” she added.
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Biden has also endorsed the two-track plan, saying Tuesday, “I think we will get enough Democrats to vote for it, and I think that the House will eventually put two bills on my desk: one on infrastructure and one on reconciliation.”
Reports that the letter was beginning to circulate last weekend sparked strong pushback from progressives, who have said for months they will not support the smaller bipartisan deal unless it comes attached to the budget resolution.
“It was clear from the beginning that the way a skinny bill gets a shot is if it’s part of a larger infrastructure package,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted earlier this week, adding in a separate message, “If [moderates] want to blow up the infra deal, that’s on them.”
The New York congresswoman later said the group should be referred to as “conservative,” writing, “Let’s stop pretending that Dems who threaten to tank the President’s agenda, kill childcare/Medicare expansion, and work w/ GOP to expand the cruelest parts of our immigration system are ‘moderate.’”
‘It will fail': Liberals threaten Biden infrastructure bill
A large faction of House liberals is threatening to derail President Biden’s economic agenda by voting against a critical infrastructure bill Democrats hope to pass this week. © Provided by Washington Examiner More than half of the 95-member House Progressive Caucus will vote against the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package that Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to bring up for a vote later this week. The group is insisting that the House and Senate first pass a $3.5 trillion social welfare spending bill that is not yet written and lacks full support among Democrats.
If a vote is held on the infrastructure bill, it’s unclear if it would even pass without major support from House Republicans. On Tuesday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced that a survey of its 96 members found a majority unwilling to support the bipartisan deal unless it was paired with the larger deal.
“These results affirm the urgency of ensuring that the Senate’s desire to pass a narrower bipartisan infrastructure agreement does not come at the expense of the full-scope investments our communities need, want and deserve,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., who chairs the group. “Our caucus is clear: The bipartisan bill will only be passed if a package of social, human and climate infrastructure — reflecting long-standing Democratic priorities — is passed simultaneously through budget reconciliation.”
Schumer has set a soft deadline of Sept. 15 for committees to draft legislation for the budget resolution. The $3.5 trillion budget proposal was primarily written by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and was agreed to by Democrats on the Budget Committee, which he chairs. The initial plan includes provisions that would expand Medicare coverage, institute universal pre-K, fund elder care and establish a Civilian Climate Corps, with some of the funding coming from higher taxes on corporations and Americans making over $400,000.
Why is there so much drama over the infrastructure vote in the House?
Passing bipartisan legislation aimed at repairing America's bridges and roadways is finally within reach of lawmakers. So is the vote in trouble?Members of both political parties have been striving to pass infrastructure legislation for years. They reached a breakthrough this year when Senate Republicans, Democrats and President Joe Biden came together to create a bill that funded roadways, bridges, public transportation and expanded broadband. It passed the Senate 69-30 in August.
The plan must be agreed to by all 50 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, so it’s likely the final dollar amount will be smaller, as a number of moderates in the chamber, including Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, have expressed discomfort with the $3.5 trillion number.
Read more from Yahoo News:
Pelosi insists Dems are 'on a path' to win the $1T infrastructure vote .
Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted House Democrats would vote and win on an infrastructure bill Thursday ever as her top deputy expressed doubt liberal members of the party would support it.'This is the fun part,' the speaker said. 'We're on a path to win the vote. I don't want to consider any options other than that. That's just the way it is.