House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brashly proclaimed that President Biden’s $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill would pass this week but progressive members of the House have forced her to delay a vote on the bill.
Thursday evening, progressive Democrats dug in their heels refusing to budge on their stance that the infrastructure bill must be passed in conjunction with the massive $3.5 trillion social spending bill. It’s do-or-die for both as the left has inextricably linked both pieces of legislation.
The move left egg on Pelosi’s face after she declared she would never bring “a bill to the floor that doesn’t have the votes.” Progressives bluntly told her that “a majority of our members will only vote for the infrastructure bill after the President’s visionary Build Back Better Act passes.”
Progressives led by those such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were good to their word and blocked the infrastructure bill without a simultaneous vote on the leftist pork-fest reconciliation bill.
(Video Credit: ABC News)
The faceoff puts Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda in severe peril. The divide among Democrats seems to be deepening as progressives flex their political power.
“The progressive movement has not had this type of power in Washington since the 1960s,” Joseph Geevarghese, who is the Executive Director of Our Revolution, told Time. The political group grew out of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ first presidential campaign.
Progressives are vowing to “hold the line” until they get what they want. Their radical wish list includes tuition-free community college, expanded Medicare, a universal preschool program, and other social programs.
“Voters have lost faith their elected representatives will fight for them. They’re sick of watching their interests get rolled by corporations. They’re tired of nothing changing in their daily lives. They deserve something better — and we’re in this fight to deliver it,” the Progressive Caucus tweeted.
Voters have lost faith their elected representatives will fight for them.
They're sick of watching their interests get rolled by corporations.
They're tired of nothing changing in their daily lives.
They deserve something better — and we're in this fight to deliver it.
— Progressive Caucus (@USProgressives) October 1, 2021
Sanders led the charge against Pelosi’s “absurd” late-night negotiations over the two bills, stating that the infrastructure bill “must be defeated.”
“It is an absurd way to do business, to be negotiating a multi-trillion-dollar bill a few minutes before a major vote with virtually nobody knowing what’s going on,” Sanders told reporters on Thursday. “That’s unacceptable. And I think what has got to happen is that tonight, the bipartisan infrastructure bill must be defeated. And we can sit down and work out a way to pass both pieces of legislation.”
.@BernieSanders isn’t happy about the state of play:
“It is an absurd way to do business, to be negotiating a multi trillion dollar bill. A few minutes before a major vote with virtually nobody knowing what's going on,” he just told reporters. “That's unacceptable.”
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) October 1, 2021
Let me be as clear as I can be. The budget reconciliation bill is PAID FOR. How will that happen? We will finally end the days of tax loopholes and evasions by the billionaire class of this country. Yes, they will finally pay their fair share of taxes.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 30, 2021
The few moderate Democrats left in the House of Representatives believe that the progressives’ demand that the Senate vote first on the social spending plan is ridiculous according to Fox News’s Chad Pergram. They don’t want to scrap it but would prefer to do nothing if the cost of the bill isn’t settled upon.
Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are still a thorn in Pelosi’s side. Manchin insists that the social spending bill be reduced from $3.5 trillion to $1.5 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer knew about Manchin’s demands. He now claims he never agreed to his ultimatum.
A senate aide confirms authenticity of this document from July, reported by Politico – that Manchin proposed to Schumer a topline $1.5T reconciliation bill, with debate to begin no later than 10/1/2021. Says Manchin does not guarantee vote for reconciliation if it exceeds $1.5T pic.twitter.com/JMX7SXxXyS
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) September 30, 2021
Sinema said she has been very clear that she won’t support the reconciliation bill because it costs too much.
“Sen. Sinema said publicly more than two months ago, before Senate passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that she would not support a bill costing $3.5 trillion,” she said in a statement via Twitter. “In August, she shared detailed concerns and priorities, including dollar figures, directly with Senate Majority Leader Schumer and the White House.”
Statement on Budget Reconciliation Negotiations pic.twitter.com/QZpaMXxm7q
— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) September 30, 2021
Pelosi is still insisting that the bill will pass. “We’re not trillions apart,” she declared at 12:01 a.m. “There’ll be a vote today.”
That has not happened so far.
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