27 September (WNN) — This week is a big one for Congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden’s agenda – with deadlines to avoid a federal government shutdown and a possible vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill and a progressive $3.5 trillion spending plan.
Since returning from the August recess earlier this month, both the House and Senate have been eyeing legislative priorities that are crucial to Biden’s agenda.
There is also controversy over the debt limit, which Democrats want to suspend until 2022 – but Republicans are not cooperating on that front.
Imminent shutdown and debt limit
The government has enough money to last till Thursday. If the extension doesn’t happen by then, the shutdown will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
Congress has not already passed a bill to fund the government in December, as Democratic lawmakers obliged it to suspend debt limits—which have been opposed by all Senate Republicans.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the chamber would vote on passing it on Monday, but it was almost certain to fail. Adding funding and debt ceilings together, the bill needs 60 votes to pass. Not a single Republican in the chamber said they would support it.
If the GOP refuses to suspend debt limits — which they did several times under former President Donald Trump — Democrats could be forced to separate the two measures.
The House was set to give an absolute majority on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said late Sunday that a vote would be delayed until Thursday.
However, the debate on the bill will start from Monday.
“The next few days will be a time of intensity,” Pelosi wrote in a letter to House Democrats.
The bipartisan bill, passed by the Senate in August, has been the subject of months of debate as progressives in the House demand that the measure be voted on in conjunction with a $3.5 trillion White House spending plan, which includes funding for various social and health care is included. Measures and Climate Change.
A bipartisan group of senators led by censors Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Kirsten Cinemas, D-Ariz., introduced the infrastructure bill last month, adding $550 billion in new spending to revitalize American roads, public transportation, and ports. Are included. Electric grid and clean drinking water and wastewater systems, as well as Internet access.
It passed the Senate by a vote of 69–30, with 19 Republicans joining the support of the Democrats.
Pelosi had scheduled a full vote for Monday, which was demanded by moderate Democrats in Congress such as Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Cinema as part of a deal with the House speaker. But on Sunday Pelosi said she could not allow the vote to go ahead without enough support.
“I am never bringing a bill that does not have votes,” she said.
Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called Pelosi “an incredibly good vote counter” and agreed Monday that the vote on the fellow spending motion would not take place without a simultaneous vote.
He said Monday was an arbitrary deadline by moderates who want to pass the infrastructure bill for political victory and defy the White House spending plan.
plan to spend $3.5 trillion
The massive spending bill was approved by the House Budget Committee in a vote on Saturday and Pelosi urged in a letter to lawmakers that the measure be passed.
In addition to funding for climate change, Medicare and free community college, the plan allocates $726 billion for universal pre-kindergarten, childcare for working families, tuition-free community college, and $107 billion for lawful permanent status for eligible immigrants. Is. It also directs $332 billion to be invested in public and affordable housing.
On Sunday, Pelosi said it’s possible the price tag of the bill could be lowered amid talks with moderates in the Senate like Cinema and Manchin, who should both vote for the bill to make it a filibuster-proof budget. to go through the reconciliation process.
“We’ll see how the numbers go down and what we need in that regard, but we’ve agreed on an array of payments in law,” Pelosi told ABC News. This week on Sunday. “It will be paid for.”