Pelosi plans vote this week as battle over Biden’s infrastructure proposal continues

Democrats appear poised for second attempt at passing Biden’s infrastructure agenda

John Bowden
Sunday 24 October 2021 15:46
Pelosi says House planning vote this week on infrastructure
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Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House and Senate plan to begin passage of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure agenda this week after concerns from moderates derailed the bills from reaching the floor last month.

During an interview on Sunday with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the House Democratic leader explained that “the plan” was to bring the bipartisan infrastructure compromise bill to a vote in the House this week once a deal was reached over the budget reconciliation package, which includes funding for an expansion of Medicare and other provisions including language aimed at fighting climate change.

“I think we pretty much have a deal now,” she said, adding that the “language” of the budget reconciliation package remained the last sticking point.

It isn’t clear yet what the final size of the reconciliation package will be; the White House had supported and called for a bill totalling $3.5 trillion over 10 years, but Mr Manchin has stated that he wants to see a bill much smaller than that.

The legislation has remained frozen for weeks. The House and Senate previously planned to vote on them late in September, only for a dispute between the conservative and progressive wings of the Democratic Party to cause delays.

Two senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsen Sinema of Arizona, held out for weeks over unspecific demands for the budget reconciliation bill’s price tag be cut. Progressives, meanwhile, refused to vote for the compromise package in the House until the larger reconciliation deal was finished, bringing both bills into jeopardy of being defeated.

After much negotiation between the White House, progressives in the Senate and the two conservative senators a deal looks to be within reach, albeit with cuts to the president’s major priorities including paid family leave thanks to the efforts of Mr Manchin and Ms Sinema.

The White House has signaled an eagerness to sign both bills into law, while Ms Sinema in particular has faced a multitude of critical statements from her fellow lawmakers regarding her total unwillingness to explain her positions either publicly or in private caucus meetings.

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