After more than a month of fighting between the progressive and liberal wings of the party, House Democrats have indicated they are moving toward meeting their $3.5 trillion budget bill.
Despite continued challenges that threaten to derail President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda, the Democratic leadership is still confident of the agenda’s success in the lower house.
Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda—which includes both the budget bill and the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by the Senate—has faced many obstacles during its short existence.
‘Early deadline,’ threatens budget bill split between moderates and progressives
Most notably, a drawn-out tussle between moderates and progressives during August and September put the bills in jeopardy.
Nine Moderates led by Rep. Josh Gotheimer (DNJ) demanded that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have a House vote on the infrastructure bill before considering the budget. Progressives suspected that moderates would not support the budget once the infrastructure bill was passed, an unproductive promise they made. The 95-member caucus said they would not vote for the infrastructure bill without first passing the budget.
In a closed-door meeting with Gottheimer, Pelosi struck a deal to satisfy the moderates. The speaker promised that the infrastructure bill would be voted on by September 27 in exchange for moderates votes to move the bill to be drafted by a House committee.
Although the deal satisfied moderates, it left House Democrats little time to draft a detailed piece of legislation. And continued disagreements between moderates and progressives run the risk of derailing the process if agreement is not kept.
This short time scale has turned some supporters of the bill into hesitant opponents.
During a meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee on the bill, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) asserted her support for the bill, but said that the “hasty deadline” pushed lawmakers trying to understand the bill. has created many problems for .
Murphy argued that the House should step back and take the time to deeply evaluate the law before passing the law, adding that it could not support the bill without these concessions.
Even in the Senate, moderates’ skepticism about the budget remains on the minds of House Democrats as they work to craft the legislation.
The challenges were obvious early in the process: the budget bill only managed to pull out of the Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) budget committee by a 50–49 party-line vote. This was only possible with the vote of moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (DW. Va.), whom he said he gave “for the honor”. [his] Allies.” But the senator then insisted that he was not making any promises to vote on the bill when it comes back to the upper house.
Since then, Munchkin has taken a definite stance against the bill, writing in the Wall Street Journal opinion that he would not support such an expensive bill.
Another liberal, Sen. Kirsten has joined the cinema, Munchkin. A spokesman for the senator said definitively that cinema would not vote for a $3.5 trillion bill.
Preparing a bill that these Moderates would approve adds another challenge to House Democrats’ already loaded dockets.
Democratic Leadership Irrespective of Challenges
Despite these challenges, the Democratic leadership maintains its belief that the bill will be successful.
On Wednesday, Pelosi was asked by a reporter whether the House would still vote on the infrastructure bill on the agreed date.
She quickly responded positively, saying, “We’re on time, let me put it that way.”
The reporter followed up on the question asking whether the conciliation bill would also be due on time. Although unwilling to go into details, Pelosi expressed confidence again.
She replied: “We are on schedule. Thats all I will say. And we are calm and all is well and we are almost done. We are in good shape.”
In a press conference Tuesday, House Democratic Caucus Speaker Hakeem Jeffries (D.N.Y.) said of Monday’s deadline approaching, “Six days is an eternity in this place, and we’re going to meet it.” Huh.”
During the conference, Jeffries touched on conversations with hesitant senators. He said talks were on with the Senate, but he was unwilling to go into specifics.
Jeffries touched on the difficulty of making the cut to please the Senate, saying “everything is important in terms of making”. [the] necessary investment to elevate everyday Americans.” Still, he acknowledged that the cuts were necessary to prepare a bill that could pass the Senate. Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said that Democrats would be final. The bills were working to get “as close to $3.5 trillion as possible”.
A member of the audience asked about the House leadership’s plan to see if the reconciliation bill was not ready by September 27.
Jeffries indicated that the House’s leadership is in communication with progressives and will ensure the caucus doesn’t tank the infrastructure bill if a reconciliation bill isn’t ready.
Jeffries explained, “At the end of the day, what drives us – Democrats across the ideological spectrum – is delivering for the people.” He continued: “It’s the president’s agenda … He promised that he would make this transformational effort for the American people. And we’re going to make sure that promise is kept.”
“At the end of the day, we always land on the highest common denominator [between progressives and moderates in the party] And we will do that in this case,” he said. “We’re going to pass the infrastructure agreement, and we’re going to pass the Build Back Better Act.”
Jeffries expressed the caucus’s determination to succeed in passing the agenda, saying “failure is not an option.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times