Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pelosi delays infrastructure vote amid infighting Democrats: ‘More time is needed’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday delayed a vote on the infrastructure bill passed by the Senate, criticized by some members of her party.

So-called progressives and moderates within the caucus are grappling with a $3.5 trillion budget proposal. The Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of about 100 House members, does not want to pass infrastructure without a lower house, first passing the huge budget piece, but moderates say the proposals should be considered separately and Vote on infrastructure bill has been urged.

Pelosi, who has already delayed the vote at least once, told members late Friday that talks within the party have made “great progress”.

But “more time is needed,” she added in a note. “Our chairs are still working for clarity and consensus. It is clear that after the conciliation bill is agreed upon, the bipartisan infrastructure bill will be passed.

Some members went public with criticism of Pelosi over the delay, noting that she had promised to vote by a certain date.

“It is deeply regrettable that Speaker Pelosi breached her firm, public commitment to members of Congress and the American people to pass the once in a century bipartisan infrastructure bill on or before September 27,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (DNJ), co-chair of the bipartisan problem solving caucus, said in a statement.

Gottheimer took a dig at the Progressives, describing them as “a small faction on the far-left” and arguing that the House leadership should not let them “hinder” the progress of the infrastructure package.

“They have put civilization and bipartisan rule at risk,” he said.

Caucus member Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) said she was “disappointed and disillusioned with the process” and also referred to how Pelosi said the infrastructure bill would be considered by Sept. 27.

The strategy has confused Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.), a moderate who has repeatedly said he will not support such a large budget piece, as Congress has spent the past 18 months on COVID-19 relief and other Trillions have been approved for the measures. .

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Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) speaks to reporters after a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill on October 1, 2021 in Washington. (Tom Brenner / Reuters)

Because Democrats hold small majority in both legislative chambers, any group in the House or a single senator who opposes a bill threatens to ruin his chances, especially if Republicans also oppose it. The GOP unilaterally opposes the budget piece while some members have said they would vote for infrastructure. 19 Republicans joined Democrats in the Senate to pass the bill in August.

President Joe Biden is with progressives, pressing Pelosi and other Democrats to link the two bills and reach an agreement on a $3.5 trillion package before voting on infrastructure.

Biden went to Capitol Hill on Friday to meet with Democrats to try to break the impasse.

“He was really clear that we needed to get both bills done, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Progressive Caucus president Rep. Primlaya Zapayal (D-Wash.) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Biden acknowledged in meetings that the $3.5 trillion price tag would need to come down to garner more support from Democrats, who hope to ram the big bill through Congress using conciliation, which any Republican Eliminates the need for a vote.

“These are his proposals. These are his bold ideas,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters before the meetings, adding later, “and he wants to take the matter directly to members.”

Members who met him said that he rounded up the number to about $2 trillion.

Biden expressed optimism while walking with Pelosi, telling reporters, “We’re going to get it done.”

Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), a member of the Progressive Caucus, told supporters on Twitter that the pressure to pass both bills is not over. “The conversation is messy. But we made progress,” he said.

Zachary Stebero

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Zachary Steber covers US news including politics and court cases. He started out as a New York City subway reporter at The Epoch Times.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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