AHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Friday the House will vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, daring liberals in her own caucus to oppose the bill. This bill has been stuck in the House for months while negotiators have not been able to agree over a larger social spending package.
Basically, Pelosi is making a Democratic leadership decision to delay a final vote on the Biden administration’s $1.75 trillion reconciliation package, but vowing to hold a vote on the $1 trillion plus bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Pelosi has escalated the tense standoff over President Biden’s domestic agenda, even after Pelosi failed to convince a handful of moderates to back the social benefits package. She abruptly announced that the infrastructure bill would come to the floor for a vote along with the rule governing the larger benefits package, but not that package itself.
Pelosi told reporters that the $1.2 trillion bill that pays for roads, bridges, water projects, and broadband expansion is critical for the success of the economy and can no longer wait. She also announced in a “Dear Colleague” letter Friday afternoon that the House would vote on the infrastructure bill and hold a “rule” vote to set parameters for debate on the reconciliation package.
The delay on a final reconciliation vote came following reported opposition from moderate House Democrats, five of whom said earlier this week that they would not support the package until the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports the bill’s true projected cost. House leadership concluded that a CBO score for the reconciliation package would not be available until after Thanksgiving.
However, House progressives have refused to support the bipartisan infrastructure bill without voting on the reconciliation package. House Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) suggested its members could continue to wait until the reconciliation package receives a CBO score.
“If our six colleagues still want to wait for a CBO score, we would agree to give them that time, after which point, we can vote on both bills together,” Jayapal said in a statement.
At the press conference at the Capitol, Pelos insisted that a “large number” of progressives would vote to pass the infrastructure bill. Meanwhile, about 20 progressives are willing to vote against the infrastructure bill, sources say.
This is an ongoing event and at press time the vote had not taken place, and we will continue to monitor and update as information is available.