Pelosi Sets Revised Oct. 31 Target to Pass Infrastructure Bill
(Bloomberg) -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi provided House Democrats with a new Oct. 31 target date to pass the stalled bipartisan infrastructure bill, saying she backed off a pledge to bring the measure to a vote this week because it would have been defeated.
“We must pass BIF well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there,” wrote Pelosi in a letter to her caucus on Saturday, referring to the $550 billion package in new infrastructure spending.
A 30-day funding extension for federal highway programs will expire at the end of October. That temporary measure was passed Friday night to keep programs funded after Pelosi did not bring the infrastructure package to a vote.
Pelosi also sought to unwind for colleagues the “two dynamics at work” for why she did not bring the bill to a vote, despite having told party moderates she would do so.
She mentioned the commitment to other lawmakers -- progressives -- not to hold that vote until there was “consensus” of support “from all stakeholders in the House and the Senate” on a top-line cost and the policies contained in a bigger package of social and climate programs, the other part of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.
That framework originally had a $3.5 trillion price tag. Instead, balking moderates got backing from Biden on Friday to shrink that package.
Pelosi indicated that the infrastructure bill would have been defeated if she had brought it to the floor.
“Out of respect for our colleagues who support the bills and out of recognition for the need for both, I would not bring BIF to the Floor to fail,” she wrote. “Again, we will and must pass both bills soon.”
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