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Politics House progressives reiterate pledge to vote down infrastructure deal unless budget agreement is reached

23:45  28 september  2021
23:45  28 september  2021 Source:   news.yahoo.com

Democrats plan to move forward with infrastructure deal amid fierce infighting between moderates, progressives

  Democrats plan to move forward with infrastructure deal amid fierce infighting between moderates, progressives House Democratic leaders said a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure deal will be held next week amid tensions within the party over the size, scope and timing of President Biden’s domestic agenda. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday that the plan will be put up for a vote next Monday or Tuesday despite lingering questions over whether it will have enough Democratic votes to pass. As Democrats look to push through both the infrastructure deal and a much larger budget resolution, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been pushing a two-track plan for months, a strategy that has earned the support of the White House.

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. After a meeting of the caucus Tuesday, Jayapal said that “we will not allow this process to be dictated by special interests and corporations at the expense of women, working families and our communities.”

GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation

  GOP should grab the chance to upend Pelosi's plan on reconciliation House Republicans have an opportunity to enhance the nation’s infrastructure and reduce the chances the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill will ever become law. © Greg Nash Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) answers questions on Afghanistan, the budget and the infrastructure bill during her weekly press conference on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The American people strongly support spending on physical infrastructure, a degree of support buttressed by hurricane Ida's destructive flooding earlier this month.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., discusses the ongoing infrastructure negotiations on June 15. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) © Provided by Yahoo! News Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., discusses the ongoing infrastructure negotiations on June 15. (Shawn Thew/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

For months, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have pushed a two-track plan to enact President Biden’s full domestic agenda. The first part of the plan was the bipartisan infrastructure deal negotiated by moderates in the Senate, which would spend $550 billion in new money — about a quarter of Biden’s initial proposal — on bridges, roads, waterways, ports and broadband internet.

The infrastructure deal, with a total price tag of roughly $1 trillion, easily passed the Senate last month with the support of 19 Republicans. But because many progressive Democrats found it unsatisfactory, they demanded it be tied to a larger budget deal that would do more to address climate change and greatly expand the country’s social safety net. Democrats say the $3.5 trillion budget deal would be paid for by new taxes on high-income Americans and corporations.

Biden and Democrats face dual front battle and have only 48 hours left

  Biden and Democrats face dual front battle and have only 48 hours left President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders are in a stare down with Republicans over funding the government. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP The Capitol is seen at dawn as a consequential week begins in Washington for President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress who are trying to advance his $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better" and pass legislation to avoid a federal shutdown, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/J.

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However, Democrats have yet to come to an agreement on the budget deal, which needs the support of all 50 members of their caucus in the Senate. Centrists like Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., have objected to the proposed price tag of $3.5 trillion over 10 years, but haven’t publicly detailed what kind of compromise they would be amenable to.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., with, from left, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Rob Portman, speaks to reporters about the bipartisan infrastructure package on July 28. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP) © Provided by Yahoo! News Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., with, from left, Sens. Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Rob Portman, speaks to reporters about the bipartisan infrastructure package on July 28. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Moderate House Democrats originally negotiated an agreement with Pelosi to vote on the bipartisan deal Monday, but that has been delayed until at least Thursday because it’s unlikely there are enough votes for it to pass.

Bernie Sanders just urged progressives to tank the Biden infrastructure bill if Pelosi brings it up for a vote in two days

  Bernie Sanders just urged progressives to tank the Biden infrastructure bill if Pelosi brings it up for a vote in two days Sanders is now the strongest progressive voice urging a no vote. Sen. Elizabeth Warren echoed his comments to reporters: "We had a deal."Since late June, when President Joe Biden reached a bipartisan deal in the Senate on a $1 trillion roads-and-bridges bill, he and Pelosi have vowed to bring it to a vote in the House at the same time as a $3.5 trillion party-line reconciliation bill. Pelosi's move on Tuesday blows up that strategy, and progressives are furious.

Jayapal said Tuesday that Democratic senators had agreed to pass a budget tied to the infrastructure deal, and that that “commitment [was] reiterated just last week,” a reference to the 11 Democratic senators who said they supported the progressives’ position.

“We articulated this position more than three months ago, and today it is still unchanged: Progressives will vote for both bills, but a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the president’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes,” Jayapal said.

Politico reported Monday evening that Pelosi was set to push forward on the infrastructure vote despite the lack of an agreement on the budget deal. In a letter to Democrats Tuesday afternoon, Pelosi said Biden was leading the negotiations and that "it would be a dereliction of duty for us to build the infrastructure of America without doing so in a manner that addresses the climate crisis significantly."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by other House Democrats and climate activists, speaks about the Build Back Better on Climate plan on Tuesday. (Andrew Harnik/AP) © Provided by Yahoo! News House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by other House Democrats and climate activists, speaks about the Build Back Better on Climate plan on Tuesday. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Biden, meanwhile, spoke with Sinema on Tuesday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the discussion “constructive,” but didn’t elaborate about whether they’d come to an agreement.

Why is there so much drama over the infrastructure vote in the House?

  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.

"I understand the interest, but I'm going to try not to say anything that gets me fired today,” Psaki told reporters when pressed on details of Biden’s conversations with Manchin and Sinema. Psaki added that Biden is “not going to tell them what to do,” although he “plans to remain closely engaged” with the negotiations.

Democratic leaders are hoping to come to an agreement on a “framework” for the budget deal that could pass the Senate and appease enough House progressives to pass the infrastructure plan.

In addition to Jayapal, a number of other progressives have publicly stated that they would vote against passing infrastructure without the budget plan. “I am a hard [expletive] no,” Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., told the Daily Beast Tuesday when asked what his vote would be on the bipartisan deal if the budget hadn’t passed.

“We aren’t bluffing. When the bills are up in tandem and we will put our votes on the board, that’s the deal,” wrote Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., adding in a later tweet, “If we don’t pass Build Back Better before infrastructure, we’re never going to pass it.”

“I’ve been clear from the start, these bills move together or they don’t move at all,” tweeted Rep. Jesús "Chuy" Garcia, D-Ill.

But one progressive lawmaker in the House told Yahoo News that an infrastructure agreement would eventually pass, even if it doesn't this week.

“Try us”: House progressives finally flex their power

  “Try us”: House progressives finally flex their power Progressive threats to vote down the bipartisan infrastructure bill have forced a delay.On Thursday, they finally did: Progressives stood by a threat they issued this summer, when they promised to vote against the bipartisan infrastructure bill if it was considered in the House without a concurrent vote on a much larger reconciliation bill (which contains a vast investment in social programs and measures to address climate change). Effectively, they argued, the infrastructure bill wouldn’t pass unless a broader $3.5 trillion package did first.

“At some point Biden will strike a deal,” the House progressive said.

Brittany Shepherd and Jon Ward contributed reporting to this story.

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LIVE COVERAGE: Biden tries to unify divided House .
House Democrats are scrambling Friday to break a weeks-long stalemate on a bipartisan infrastructure package - a debate that's exposed fierce rifts between moderates and progressives that are threatening to tank President Biden's ambitious domestic agenda.On two occasions this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised moderates a vote on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, only to punt it in the face of entrenched opposition from liberals, who are first demanding a commitment from Senate centrists to back a larger, multitrillion-dollar social benefits package.

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