Moderates Urge Pelosi to Stay the Course on Infrastructure Vote
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic moderates in the U.S. House are imploring Speaker Nancy Pelosi to move forward with a Sept. 27 vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill despite threats from progressives to block it if a much larger spending package has not also been approved.
“We cannot afford to delay a single day longer when our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, climate change induced calamities have just devastated communities across our country, and two million jobs a year are on the line,” the nine lawmakers wrote in a letter to Pelosi on Friday.
With time running short, Pelosi faces a dilemma over the clashing priorities of Democrats and President Joe Biden’s desire to enact his ambitious agenda. She pledged to hold by Sept. 27 a vote on $550 billion in new infrastructure spending, which has already been approved by the Senate.
Earlier Friday, Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington State, the leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, warned that the speaker “won’t have sufficient votes” to pass the infrastructure measure without the $3.5 trillion tax and social spending package having first passed both the House and Senate.
The spending measure can only pass the evenly-divided Senate through a process called reconciliation, which evades a filibuster by Republican opponents. But all 50 Democrats must agree and at least two moderates in that chamber have balked at the cost.
“We appreciate the significant and patient efforts being devoted to forging a reconciliation measure that can pass both chambers of Congress,” the nine House Democrats, including Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Filemon Vela of Texas wrote.
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