House Speaker Nancy Pelosi caved to moderate Democrats on Friday, pledging to postpone a vote on President Biden’s multi-trillion-dollar social welfare bill, while simultaneously calling a vote on the long-stalled $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package.
“Today, we have the opportunity to continue down a path that will advance a very historical and transformative agenda,” stated Mrs. Pelosi . “We had hoped that we could bring both bills to floor today. Some members need more information or validation of numbers…we honor that request .”
The speaker originally wanted to hold two votes on both the infrastructure package and spending bill. These plans were thwarted when moderate House Democrats pledged not to vote for the social welfare package.
The moderates argued that passing the more than 2,000-page spending bill without proper time to review and understand its economic impact would be a dereliction of public service. They asked Mrs. Pelosi instead to delay the vote so that the Congressional Budget Office could conduct a cost analysis.
” “Everyone is waiting to the CBO do their job,” said Rep. Jared Golden, Maine, one of the Democratic holdouts.
The moderates, who believe they will vote for the spending bill regardless, asked the speaker to continue on infrastructure. Because of opposition from far-left Democrats, the bipartisan bill that passed the Senate in the summer has been left sitting in the House.
The 98-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, in particular, has linked the passage of the social welfare bill to the infrastructure deal.
” “As we’ve repeatedly said, there are dozens our members who want both bills out the House together,” said Rep. Pramila Japal, Washington Democrat who chairs the CPC.
Mrs. Pelosi had initially backed the progressives’ position, even delaying votes on the infrastructure package three times. The speaker changed course on Friday and pushed forward with a vote about infrastructure. She only promised the far-left that she would bring up the social welfare bill in the future.
The move places progressives in a dilemma: vote for infrastructure and moderates against the reconciliation package or keep both bills.
At the moment, far-left demands the former, even threatening the destruction of the infrastructure.
” If our colleagues want to wait for CBO scores, we would be willing to allow them that time. After which we can vote together on both bills,” stated Mrs. Jayapal.
The stand-off has even drew the personal intervention of the White House . Numerous lawmakers claim that Mr. Biden called members of the CPC to urge them to support his infrastructure package.